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  • Video Production and Film Making Checklist

    When starting up a filmmaking business, one of the most exciting parts is putting together and organising your videography equipment.   This requires true dedication, careful planning, and a lot of research, not least because there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ package of video equipment out there.

    Before starting out, you will need to ask yourself a few key questions in order to put together the gear that suits you best. What type of visuals are you creating: interviews, corporate videos, films? Will you be capturing footage whilst on the move? What weather conditions might you face? Answering these few basic questions will help you determine what gear you need.

    But to get you started, we’ve created a checklist covering some of the basic equipment every professional videographer should own.

    1. Professional cameras

    Firstly, the centrepiece for any filmmaking equipment package is the camera. The type of camera you choose depends on a number of variables, such as your budget, what type of video you intend to shoot, and where you intend to shoot. Today’s videographers are spoilt for choice, so make sure to choose wisely.

    It is possible to shoot a quality documentary on anything from a DSLR to a top of the range digital cinematic camera. The Panasonic DC-GH5 4K is a popular recording camera with built in mic and headphone terminals, capable of capturing smooth, high-precision 4K 60p/50p and faithful 4:2:2 10-bit 4K video.

    1. Tripods

    To keep your footage looking steady and professional, a tripod is an essential piece of kit. If you are yet to use one, you’ll soon see the improvement in quality when using a sturdy stabiliser. So finding a tripod that can pan and tilt is a basic requirement for shooting video.

    At a beginners level, the Davis & Sanford PROVISTA 7518 B professional video tripod for HD HDSLR and video cameras is a good place to start.  It is a tough and rugged yet reasonably lightweight tripod able to support cameras up to 8.25KG. It has the FM18 2 way fluid head and is perfect for field, studio, educational or industrial applications.

    If you want to incorporate smooth tracking shots into your footage, you should think about investing in a dolly. This will enable you to capture perfectly smooth shots while on the move.

    3. Memory Cards

    The majority of professional cameras you’ll be using will now capture straight to memory card. This will help you keep costs to a minimum since there are many affordable options out there. It is recommended that you have multiple cards at your disposal so that you can download footage to your drive whilst you continue to shoot on a different one.

    The SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO UHS-II SDXC Memory Cards deliver extremely fast transfer speeds of up to 300MB/s* for post-production workflow. Write speeds of up to 260MB/s* handle rapid shots, sequential burst mode, and RAW plus JPEG capture with ease.

    The amount of capacity you need depends on the types of files you have, how big they are, and how many there are. Most companies will offer a guide so that you can work out how many hours of video you can store for each capacity.

    4. Audio

    Good quality audio is what separates amateurs from professional videographers. This is one crucial part of filming that tends to be forgotten. Poor audio quality is extremely noticeable to the audience, so it is worth investing in specialist equipment to capture your sound than rely on the mic built in to the camera. A shotgun mic is your best bet for almost all situations.

    We recommend the compact and lightweight Rode VideoMic GO, which delivers clear, crisp, directional audio with incredible ease of use. Sitting atop your DSLR, its tight pickup area focuses directly in front of the microphone and reduces other surrounding sounds, ensuring that your subject is isolated from distracting background noise. The integrated Rycote® Lyre® shock mount isolates your microphone from bumps and vibrations that could otherwise interfere with your sound.

    To turn your shotgun mic into a boom pole mic it is a good idea to invest in a shock mount, which will keep the mic steady on top of the pole and prevent the mic from picking up "bumping" sounds when the pole is in use.

    5. Lighting

    Regardless of which professional cameras you choose to use, you shouldn’t rely on the on-board lights. Lighting is a fundamental part of shooting footage and therefore you should take the time to consider what additional lighting you’ll require for the style you’re aiming to get.

    As a beginner, it may pay to invest in a basic DSLR attachment LED light that sits on top of your camera. However, if you intend to switch sets regularly, and mix up the type of footage you capture, then it might be wise to start with a more advanced lighting kit, such as the Dedo KDS21B 1 Soft head 2 Hard heads Basic Starter Kit.

  • What is a Blackmagic Camera and Why you Need One!

    You could try and find a filmmaker who is not in favour of the Blackmagic range of video tech, but chances are, you wouldn’t be successful. This is because Blackmagic Design has rapidly become one of the world’s leading innovators and manufacturers of creative video software and hardware.

    Setting out to change the industry forever, Blackmagic has continually released ground-breaking video tools, for everyone, at affordable prices. This has given all creatives in the post-production and television industry the power to focus on the storytelling and produce truly outstanding content.

    But with such a range of tech on offer, how do you choose the best one for your needs? Here’s the run down of the latest video equipment from Blackmagic.

    Blackmagic Cinema Camera

    The revolutionary Blackmagic cinema camera is everything you need in a camera with nothing you don’t. This handheld design with a 4/3 size sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range and dual native ISO up to 25,600, puts the power in the palm of your hand. It can record at up to 60 frames per second in 4K and up to a massive 120 frames per second for windowed HD, plus it gives an incredible low light performance.

    You get a super bright 5” screen, 4 built in microphones, built in recorders and external navigations that give you fast access to the most important functions. That means you can quickly check all aspects of footage without having to carry around extra video, sound or monitoring equipment. You also get lots of mounting points, a mini XLR input with phantom power, Bluetooth control and more.

    Truly ground breaking for its price point, shoot independent films, documentaries, blogs, corporate videos has never been easier, and it’s all available to you on this affordable camera that rivals the types used on high-end Hollywood feature films. And, with remarkable, flexible power options you have the opportunity to keep shooting all day long.

    Blackmagic URSA Broadcast

    The URSA Broadcast is the world’s most affordable and most flexible professional broadcast camera for HD and ultra HD. Hailed as an all-round 2-in-1 camera, it is perfect for offsite ENG and programming work, and is also recognised as a professional studio camera. URSA Broadcast is perfect for traditional broadcasters because it uses the lenses and batteries you already own, and also mitigates the need for unusual media cards and file formats found on traditional cameras. It records onto regular SD cards and uses the same common file formats found on broadcast media management systems and most NLE software.

    It also works with both older after market HD lenses and inexpensive photo lenses making it an ideal piece of tech for online streaming and other web broadcasts. No other broadcast camera is more flexible and more affordable.

    Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro

    The URSA Mini Pro is the world’s first digital film camera with professional broadcast camera features and controls. Using filmmaker feedback, Blackmagic has created a camera with such a broad range of capabilities that its quite literally the camera for everyone.

    Recognised as ‘three cameras in one’, the URSA Mini Pro combines high-end digital film quality with all the ergonomics and features broadcasters need. It’s ideal for any kind of work from high end feature films, television shows and commercials, to independent films, broadcast news, and even studio and live production!

    This ultra-versatile camera comes with interchangeable lens mounts. Although not quick-release, it is a perfect option for filmmakers always moving from inside studios to outside and allows you to change between EF photographic lenses or PL, B4 and F mount lenses.

    The URSA Mini Pro also features built in ND filters, a status display, records up to 60fps and features dual CFast 2.0 recorders as well as dual SD/UHS-II Card recorders. But the true selling point for this piece of tech is that its designed to include everything you need in a portable handheld camera so you can take it anywhere! Unlike cheap plastic cameras, the evenly weighted camera body is made out of a super tough magnesium alloy allowing you to have it on your shoulder all day. It’s a true professional camera with full redundancy on every control, even the power switch!

    What’s so magical about this company is that not only are they dedicated to quality and stability, but they have an unprecedented focus on their customers, which enables them to continually produce top of the range tech at affordable prices.

    As another point, as time goes by, Blackmagic continues to update the firmware to all of these cameras keeping them at the top of their game. So whether you’re shooting an advert, a music video, a live webcast or a feature film, one thing is for sure: you can’t go wrong with Blackmagic.

  • Protect your Professional Camera with Industry Leading Cases

    For any professional photographer or videographer, your equipment is your livelihood and it’s fair to say these tools do not come cheap. So that’s why it’s necessary to invest in suitable cases and measures to protect it while you transport your equipment from one location to the next.

    But because there are so many types of protective gear to choose from, it can get overwhelming deciding on the best type for your pieces. So we’ve put together a round up of some of the best cases for protecting and transporting all your professional camera equipment.

    The Best for a One-Man Crew

    Solo photographers need luggage that is not only easily transportable but also has a great deal of carrying capacity. Backpacks and carry cases are the go-to for ease of use and although they have a soft exterior, they offer an incredibly sturdy and versatile means of protection.

    Manfrotto Pro Light Cinematic Camcorder Backpack

    The Manfrotto Pro Light Cinematic Balance, video backpack is a professional videographer’s bag designed for a one-man-band & run and gunner who needs to carry everything required to do their job in a single bag. This carry-on pack is built to hold and protect a VDSLR or mirrorless with several lenses and DJI Ronin M/MX fully set up thanks to its signature Camera Protection System dividers.

    The backpack comes with a DuoFace sun/rain cover to protect from harsh weather and adjustable sternum and shoulder straps for added comfort. This strong but lightweight bag is truly designed to go the distance.

    Also recommended: Camrade Run and Gun Backpack Medium, Sachtler SC303 Campack Plus Camera Backpack, Camrade CAM-TPXL Transporter XL.

    Stackable Hard Cases

    When whole production crews are on the move, hard cases are often the best form of protective casing. Typically built with a robust polypropylene exterior, these equipment cases can often be stacked up in a transportation vehicle ready for the next filming location. Dustproof, waterproof and temperature resistant, they are virtually indestructible.

    Explorer 7630 Hard Case

    Renowned worldwide for their superb performance, Explorer cases are manufactured in a way that exceeds many military and industrial specification levels. The Explorer 7630 Hard Case, comes complete with a high impact, resin reinforced polypropylene body shell, load tested handles, positive locking system with high resistance latches and built-in pad-lock locations. The interior can be custom created to fit all types of video equipment.

    Also recommended: B&W International TYPE 1000 Outdoor Hard Case, B&W International TYPE 4000 Outdoor Hard Case, Explorer 7641 Hard Case with or without Foam

    Protect come rain, shine, wind or sand

    Customised camera protection suits are ingeniously designed to keep your equipment safe from the elements. Covers are typically made of water-resistant fabric with soft, noise-free lining to minimise unwanted sound effects. It’s not worth risking your equipment while filming in unpredictable weather—keep your cameras free from sand and ensure they are protected from wind, rain and harsh sun with a glove or rain cover.

    Camrade CAM-WSDSLR WetSuit for DSLRs

    The Camrade CAM-WSDSLR WetSuit, for DSLRs fits most DSLRs on the market including Canon EOS Mk3, 1Dx, the Nikon series and Sony Alpha. With a soft, flexible, and waterproof PVC exterior, and a noiseless cotton interior fabric, this cover protects the camera from the elements and reduces noise from wind and rain. Complete with an extended side opening, the photographer has easy access to the controls and LCD monitor screen.

    Also recommended: See full list here to find gloves and rain covers form fitted to your camera.

    Audio Equipment Protection

    Waterproof audio bags typically come complete with transparent top window, multiple configuration options and storage pockets, and padded adjustable shoulder straps for added comfort whilst working. These bags are designed to aid your workflow by keeping your gear protected and organised.

    Camrade AudioMate Compact Carry Case - CAM-AMC Protection for portable fieldaudio mixers and recorders

    The audioMate Compact is designed to carry and protect audio mixers and recorders such as the Sound Devices 633 including its accessories. The layout of the bag including the vinyl windows with hook and loop fasteners allows you to have full access to all necessary controls during your work and transportation.

    This padded audioBag is lined with Water-resistant 1000 denier Cordura® fabric which also has noise reduction properties. This is a comfortable, all-round carry case suitable for a wide variety of audio equipment.

    Also recommended: Sachtler SN601 Eargonizer Standard Audio Bag, Sachtler SN606 Rain Poncho, Camrade CAM-AM AudioMaster Carry Case

  • The Power of the Teradek Serv Pro Wireless Video Streaming

    Continually making headlines in the cinema world, the Teradek Serv Pro is setting a new standard on set. This powerful camera-top wireless transmitter broadcasts H.264 video and audio to as many as ten iOS smartphones and tablets on the same WiFi network, giving the whole production team their own handheld monitors to see the shot.

    Serv Pro Hardware

    Durable and robust, the hardware comes encased in a blue anodized aluminium box with diagonally grooved heat dissipation fins and two WiFi antennas. Reasonably small in size and weighing just 14oz, it is designed to be easily mountable in a range of positions using the industry standard ¼-20 thread.

    Design simplicity

    One of the best features of the Serv Pro is its ease of use. Once it is mounted and the input has been connected, it only needs to be switched on—really! The Serv Pro will establish its own wireless connection and begin streaming once it has been initialised. After that, the production team will be viewing the shot on their remote devices within minutes. It’s powerful broadcasting range makes streaming from camera to iDevice seamless.

    The Teradek Serv Pro may not be cheap, but it is a bargain. If you consider how much you’ll be saving not having to provide 10 individual wireless monitors and the relative equipment, then the price of this wireless video transmission system becomes a lot more competitive. What’s even better is that iOS devices cost just a fraction of the price of monitoring systems, and production crew and clients can even use their own smartphones and tablets.

    This brings us on to the Serv Pro’s collaborative tool and all-round gem, Vuer.

    Professional monitoring via Vuer app

    Vuer is the Serv Pro’s companion app, which not only turns any iDevice with an A7 or better processor and running iOS 9 or later into a monitoring screen, but it also provides an entire suite of professional customising tools. These settings include waveform, false colour, anamorphic desqueeze, vectorscope, frame grabbing, focus assist and much more.

    What’s more, Vuer allows those devices that are connected to the network to view up to 4 different camera feeds at the same time. But on top of that, you don’t need to be using more than one camera to take advantage of the two-up or four-up display. Meaning you can connect one camera to all four viewing points and customise them individually to see a variety of monitoring parameters.

    With comparable performance across all devices from iPhone 5s to iPad Pros, iOS clients will only need to deal with a mere two-frame delay at distances of up to 300 feet. Each Serv Pro also comes with dual-input HDMI & 3G-SDI options, and can generate its own WiFi signal, so it’s a flexible solution for just about any on-set workflow.

    Conclusion

    It may seem like a one trick pony, but the Teradek Serv Pro has all the bells and whistles that make it extremely versatile for all levels of production. Not only does each Serv Pro feed broadcast at 1080p with just a 2 frame delay, but it also works harmoniously with Teradek Bolt and Paralinx productsto make a complete production of wireless video monitoring.

    As the Serv Pro is able to feed a multitude of iOS devices from a single transmitter, it provides an entire cinematographers toolset to the whole of the production crew. But possibly one of the most advantageous components to the Serv Pro system is its simplicity and ease of use. Just plug it in, turn it on and within minutes you have 10 feeds viewing the shoot. It really is that simple.

  • The NVS-40 Ultra Versatile Streaming Encoder

    nvs-4-

    The Datavideo NVS-40 is a must-have for all video producers, particularly those looking to livestream to multiple servers at the same time. As a multi-channel video streaming and recording device, the NVS-40 enables users to record and stream high-quality videos simultaneously as the device features independent SDI and HDMI inputs. Simply by setting different video formats and bitrates, up-to four sources can be recorded to any hard drive or SSD and be live streamed all at the same time.

    Supporting one SDI and the four HDMI video inputs, up to four 1080P signal sources can be encoded to 8 streamings in different bitrates simultaneously with the NVS-40 unit. The videos can be live-streamed to up to ten different streaming platforms at once, and the device is suitable for all the major streaming and social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, UStream, Wowza, Adobe Media Server and DVS-200 server.

    The NVS-40 encodes using the H264 codec and supports RTSP / RTMP and HLS protocols. The independent encoder settings and built-in video down scaler can be used to downscale and de-interlace each incoming signal to meet the destination specifications.

    The NVS-40 also features an HDMI Multiview output and allows external XLR balanced audio and RCA unbalanced audio input so you can monitor your sources. An extremely versatile unit, the NVS-40 can also be an ISO recorder to record backup files for each of the four input channels, or even a Video IP switcher to switch between different videos via web connection, which is suitable to control remotely.

    The Datavideo NVS-40 can replace multiple streaming encoders and recorders, making it a cost-effective, space-saving solution for any video producers who may need to simultaneously live stream a feed and record a master copy to a hard-drive. Users will have a lot of creative freedom and flexibility using this multipurpose device.

  • DataVideo Go- 500 Studio is a Powerful Portable Video Production Studio

    Datavideo GO 500 Studio 4 Channel

    Complete with an SE-500HD video switcher, TLM-102 dual monitor for preview and program, NVS-25 streaming encoder, and HDR-1 H.264 USB recorder, the DataVideo Go-500 Studio is an all-in-one video production system. The Go-500 Studio comes racked, connected and contained all in one HC-800 case, making it perfect for easy transportation and use. A small but fully equipped system, this professional production equipment will be your new go-to video studio set-up.

    One component of the DataVideo Go-500 is the SE-500HD—a small but powerful video switcher. Simple to use, it offers 4 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs, and supports video formats up to 1080p. The SE-500HD has an inbuilt audio mixer with microphone, headphone mini jack, volume control and unbalanced RCA audio inputs/outputs. It also has PiP and red, yellow and green tally output features, as well as flexible mix/effects processor with wipe function.

    The Go-500 comes with a foldable dual 10.1” rack-mounted LCD monitor unit with front panel headphone jacks. it features a 4RU rack mount design and supports the connection of HDMI and SDI signal sources. This is a perfect piece of equipment for broadcast, video production and AV users. You can also make individual adjustments of the brightness, contrast, colour saturation and LED backlight level for each monitor to make it adaptable to the user or production location.

    The video streaming server (NVS-25) accepts HD/SD-SDI, HDMI and Composite video formats and offers two professional audio inputs. It encodes incoming video to H.264 for real time video playback, such as live stream, or can be put online for on demand streaming, while simultaneously recording to a USB drive for post-recording editing. Scaling and deinterlacing can be accomplished on any video input.

    Of the Go-500, the NVS-25 is simple to use, controlled via computer or mobile device, which is accessed through a standard web browser. Particularly, this is a great piece of equipment for those with special audio needs.

    The Go-500’s standalone recorder produces high quality HD files (up to 20 Mbps in MP4), which is ideal for capturing and saving footage from public announcements, seminars, corporate meetings, lectures, or live concerts. It can also be used by broadcasters to create a web-optimized proxy recording. One of the greatest benefits of the HDR-1 is that you can use it independently of a computer.With front panel buttons, the record/pause feature enables you to record an event in a single file even if there are breaks in the proceedings.

    Transporting your professional production equipment has never been easier. Neatly packed into its heavy-duty polypropylene case, the Go-500 system is always protected from dust, rough handling and the elements. Simply pair this compact system with the 2 Camera GoKit and you can have an easily transportable, fully complete video production workflow.

  • Powerful Broadcast Equipment with the DATAVIDEO 4K Multi-Camera Unit

    DATAVIDEO 4K Multi-camera Unit

    Data-KMU100-image

    The Datavideo KMU-100 is a 4K multi-camera unit production solution offering a multiple simulated Full HD of a maximum of 1080p mounted camera angles. You can link the production of one 4K-UHD camera to KMU-100, which can display a maximum of four 16x9 personalised cropped frames that are later sent out in four different HD signals using HD-SDI. You can mount these user-defined frames to zoom in on an object that you want to focus on with the 4K signal.

    You can connect an extra 4K camera to get a maximum of eight distinct outputs using two 4K signals. As an alternative, you can also add the RMC-180 camera regulator to easily tilt, zoom and pan to create the user-defined frames on the 4K signals. You can program these shots beforehand and use them in real-time or save them in the unit as presets.

    KMU-100 can convert different signals originating from two video inputs using resolutions of up to 3840x2160 (UHD) into eight separate output video streams. This device allows several video formats and supports the connection of HDMI and SDI signal sources including HDMI 2.0 and 12G SDI technologies.

    KMU-100 can generate a maximum of eight channels of production signals. Each channel produces an active spot of the input signals outlined by the user. To highlight these spots, you install a software application on your computer while connected to the 4K camera through a LAN interface.

    Users can use the two multi-viewer outputs for device configuration and preview. You can use this professional broadcast camera in multiple applications for various purposes since it's capable of creating many effects that will satisfy all professionals involved in event live coverage, production and TV broadcast due to the use of the audiovisual resources. The unit is appropriate for use in places of worship, broadcast applications, and live events.

    The RMC-185 KMU regulator is a physical regulator designed mainly for the control of the KMU 4K multi-camera processors. The RMC-185 links with KMU-100 using an RS-422 connection. This devoted controller enables operators to create smooth pan, tilt and zoom motions using a joystick. The four buttons hold speed, motion path, position, and scale of all the four separate 3 GB/s productions per channel. These preset enable start/reset/stop of motion in a defined speed for each output.

    KMU-100 is a developed video converter that supports conversion and processing of UHD signals using a resolution of 3840x2160 into eight or four separate high-quality streams with resolutions of up to Full HD. The device provides the user with two individual conversion channels. It supports parallel and simultaneous processing of two 3840x2160 signal sources. The input signals get converted into 8-3G SDI productions, which can get harmonised into a Genlock input.

    KMU-100 is ideal for those professionals involved with Studio broadcasting and video resources adopting various signal types and sources. It's a perfect option for a variety of program scenes as well as live coverage of different events. Moreover, its converter is extremely easy to use. This professional broadcast camera is portable due to its user-friendly interface, small size and the DV Link program will give you a memorable experience with this device.

  • Wireless Video Transmission in a Backpack

    H.264 and H.265 Video Encoders

    When you are in need of a system to help with video transmission, the quality of your video output will be hugely dependent on the quality of the encoder that you use with your file. Encoding a video recording converts the raw file into a compressed format without affecting the quality of the image to be played back, giving you the best-looking video possible. Therefore, for a wireless video transmission system it is particularly important that the video encoding that you use is as efficient as it possibly can be. With this in mind, H.264 and H.265 encoders are the only way to go if you want the best quality videos.

    H.264 video encoding is the professional standard for video compression, used the world over for professional cameras. H.264 provides great quality video, but at far lower bit rates than previous industry standards. This means that the video file sizes are vastly decreased, which is ideal for professional wireless video transmission. Be it an important world news story or a just a sports game, it is vital that you have the capability to record as much as possible. In addition to this, it is critical that you are able to record in as high a quality as possible at the same time. By using H.264 to encode, both of these requirements are met.

    However, H.265 is a new high efficiency video coding technology that can provide the newest compression standard. The goal of H.265 encoding is to provide twice the compression rate of H.264, which can be used in 2 ways. You can either record identical video quality to H.264 but compress this to half the size, or you can provide demonstrably higher visual quality at the same file size.

    Bond_backpack_side2
    Teradek Bond Backpacks

    The Teradek Bond family of backpacks are an all in one wireless video transmission system especially made for for the Teradek
    HEVC streaming solution that give you the professional quality discussed. The Teradek Bond Backpack come with a custom modem that gives the capability to pick up cellular coverage, and capture footage at a far higher bitrate. However, the Teradek Bond 759 VU backpack most importantly houses built in H.264 and H.265 encoders, allowing you to stream up to 1080p resolution. With an optimised system that boots up in under 20 seconds, the functionality of the backpacks are second to none as well. Top quality connectivity wherever you need it, an internal battery for power back up while you swap power sources and an ergonomic, lightweight design all mean that the Teradek is perfect for all requirements, including use with professional cameras.

    Bond_backpack_open_w_battery

     

  • What Is a White Box Lens?

    When shopping for broadcast lenses, you've probably come across listings that describe the item as a "white box lens." What exactly does this mean?
    A white box lens is a lens that was originally part of a camera kit that the retailer bought and subsequently split out into separate products. Instead of having retail packaging, these lenses come in a plain white box. They have the same quality as retail lenses, as well as the same warranty, but they are usually less expensive. Sometimes they are considerably less expensive.
    White Box LensThis means that white box lenses are a suitable alternative when buying broadcast lenses. You just need to make sure that the lens came from a kit that was intended for your country. For example, if you live in the US, you need to ask the retailer or seller if the lens came from a kit intended for the US market. If it didn't, then the lens would be considered a "grey market" item.White box lenses are often confused with grey market lenses, but this is a mistake. A grey market lens is one that is being sold in a market different than what the manufacturer intended. This lens would not have a warranty from the manufacturer. It could have other problems as well, such as missing or incorrect documentation, and inferior quality.A grey market lens could be sold as a white box lens. So. how can you identify when this happens?Grey market lenses will often have one of following terms in its description:

    • Import Model
    • Warranty via Seller
    • USA Seller Warranty
    • Off Market
    • USA Coverage by Seller
    • Seller Warranty

     

    You can also avoid grey market lenses by buying from a reputable retailer.

    White box lenses should also not be confused with refurbished lenses. A refurbished lens is one that has been returned to the manufacturer, who then corrects any faults in the lens before reselling the item. The quality of a refurbished lens is usually the same or close to the same of a new lens, but it often comes with a shorter warranty period.

    Like with a grey market lens, a refurbished lens could be sold as a white box lens, but it should explicitly state
    that it is refurbished. A white box lens does not imply that the lens is refurbished.

    So, should you buy a white box lens?

    Yes. You will get the same quality and warranty as a retail lens, and you'll save money. You just need to look out for grey market and refurbished lenses being sold as white box, and the best way to avoid these is to buy from a reputable retailer.

  • Transfer Video From Panasonic Camcorder to Computer

    You just shot a video on your Panasonic camcorder, and now you want to transfer that footage to your computer. How this is done depends on the type of camcorder and computer being used.

    Older Panasonic camcorders utilize a cable connection called FireWire. This is often found on camcorders that use video tapes for storing footage. The computer needs a FireWire enabled connection card, and a special cable is needed to connect the camcorder to the computer. Some models updated this connection with a USB connection. From here, software is needed to record the data. Some models of camcorders ship with software to be downloaded to the computer that allows the footage to be imported, but many computers ship with some form of software for footage imports.

    Transfer Video From Panasonic Camcorder to Computer

    A modern day Panasonic camcorder often stores footage on a medium known as the SD card. These are formatted to record based on the requirements of the camcorder. To transfer footage from this type of storage device, the SD card usually must be removed from the camera. The card can then be inserted into a builtin SD card reader on the computer or inserted into a USB card reader which can then be connected to a USB port on the computer. An adapter like this also exists for lightning connections to import videos to an iOS device, if need be.

    Importing From an SD Card

    Most computers made today ship with built in software for importing videos. Windows Movie Maker is a basic editor for Windows machines that enables the import of digital data from the SD card. iMovie is the software available for the Mac.

    Additionally, when the SD card is inserted in the computer, it appears within the file navigator and can be accessed like any other folder on the computer. Within the SD card folder is a video folder, either labelled to be a videos folder, or labeled as private. Within this folder is an AVCHD folder, and in this folder are the video files. They will be numbered and ordered chronologically based on when they were created. From here, the files can be copied into folders on the computer, then the SD card can be ejected. It is important to copy the files onto the computer so that the video editing software on the machine can find the files. If these remain on the SD card, the video editing software will not be able to find the files when the SD card is removed.

    Importing from FireWire to Ma

    Most Macs manufactured between 2008 and 2011 included a FireWire port built into the machine. To import footage over FireWire, the tape of the camcorder must be rewinded to the beginning of the footage, then software on the computer is used to record the tape information as it is played on the camera. Older versions of iMovie are able to natively import footage over FireWire. The Adobe suite of video editing software is also able to natively import footage.

     

    Importing from FireWire to PC

    Not every PC ships with a FireWire capture card. These can be purchased separately, then added to a desktop setup. For a laptop, it would need to already ship with a FireWire port to import via a FireWire cable. Assuming the hardware is present, the next step is the software. This follows a similar procedure as the Mac, where the software must be set to capture the footage playing on the camera. The tape of the camera must be set to the beginning of the footage before importing through the software. Windows Movie Maker is the Windows alternative to iMovie (which is a Mac exclusive). The Adobe suite can also be used here and any prepackaged software that came with the camcorder can also be used for importing footage.

    For both Mac and PC, the software gives options for quality settings and locations for the import. This stores the files on the computer to later be imported into the video editing software. The import software can then be closed and the camera safely ejected, either by selecting the eject option on the Windows start bar or dragging the camera/SD card to the trash on Mac.

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