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  • Panasonic DMC-GH4 Version 2.0 Firmware update

    GH4 Firmware Ver 2.0

    1. [4K PHOTO] mode is added which records 4K video exclusively for capturing a frame to save as a photo.
      • Settings can be adjusted as below when entering this mode.
        - Rec Format : MP4
        - Rec Quality : 4K 30p, 100Mbps (System Frequency 59.94Hz), 4K 25p, 100Mbps (System Frequency 50.00Hz)
        - Luminance Level:0-255
      • In addition to 16:9 aspect, 4:3 / 3:2 / 1:1 can be selected.
      • Exif information is embedded to the captured image from the 4K video.
      • Marking function is available enables marker setting on the designated point while recording video and users can jump to the markers when playing back the video to capture the frame they want.
      • Loop Recording function is added, with which the camera keeps on recording video while deleting the old footage automatically.
    2. 4K 23.98p, 100Mbps mode is added in MP4 video recording.
    3. The upper limit of the ISO sensitivity can be set in the menu of ISO sensitivity setting and emission amount of flash light can be adjusted in the menu of exposure compensation.
    4. Focusing performance of 1-area AF in video recording is improved.
    5. Tracking performance of tracking AF when used with the interchangeable lens H-FS14140 is improved.
    6. Remote shooting via USB tethering is available by using PC software "USB Tether" supplied by Promote Systems.

    *For more information on Promote Systems, please visit http://www.promotesystems.com

    Ver 1.1

    • Improvement of stability for REC/PAUSE operation

    Click here for the latest Firmware and Software

  • Sony CineAlta Firmware updates

    Version 5 firmware is now available to download on the Sony PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 product pages!

    Download here now

  • Should you Hire or Buy your Broadcasting Equipment?

    If you need professional broadcasting equipment for your filming project then you have a few choices to make before filming can begin. Firstly, you need to decide what sort of broadcasting equipment you need to complete the job to the highest standard your budget will allow. So you need to consider the type of camera, sound equipment, lighting kits, mixers, batteries, microphones, camera supports and software that will be suitable. This will largely depend on the scale of the project and whether it is studio based or needs to be mobile.

    Once you have put together the right kit list of broadcasting equipment (and seek professional help with this step if you are unsure), you need to source the items. And the biggest decision at this stage will be whether you are going to buy the equipment or hire it. Most broadcasting equipment suppliers will offer the choice to buy or hire and there will also usually be the option to purchase second hand or reconditioned items at a fraction of their original price.

    Benefits of hiring broadcasting equipment

    If you only need the gear for a one off project, or this is your first time filming, then it may be more sensible to consider hiring. Maybe you have a promotional video to film for your company or are looking to strengthen your online presence with video content. In these cases, hiring can be a great way to get to grips with professional broadcasting equipment and deciding whether it would be a worthwhile investment to buy for future projects.

    It is worth noting, however, that many broadcasting equipment suppliers will only hire out cameras to companies or businesses. So if you are an individual freelancer, purchasing may be a more sensible option.

    Advantages of buying

    But if you are looking for a more long term investment, maybe for a media company that produces a lot of online content, a broadcasting organization or for a film and media department at a school or college, then it will usually make more financial sense to buy the majority of your broadcasting equipment. You could then always hire extra items that are only needed occasionally or add to your kit by purchasing more items over time and when budgets permit.

    When you buy your broadcasting equipment you are not subject to any rental time limits, late penalties, or the hassle of returning kit to the supplier.  You can use it how you like and when you like and suppliers can deliver quickly and directly to you. Finance options are also available to help spread out the costs.

    One word of advice though, especially if you are thinking of purchasing a lot of broadcasting equipment, is to ensure you have people who are trained to use the kit. This will ensure the very best results.

    But whether you decide to buy or rent your broadcasting equipment, if you are unsure what kit you need, always speak to an expert supplier for guidance first.

  • Blackmagic Design updates Resolve, Desktop Video and Videohub software

    Blackmagic is rolling out a number of updates:

    Videohub 6.1 includes:

    Support for Smart Videohub 40 x 40

    Desktop Video 10.3.2 includes:

    Adds support for output of 2160p60 Ultra HD via HDMI on DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G

    General performance and stability improvements for all models

    DaVinci Resolve 11.1.3 includes:

    Improved Media and Edit page playback performance

    Improved tracker stability

    Improved render stability for long renders

    Improved trace intensity for scopes

    Added Rocket-X support for Monochrome clips

    General performance and stability improvements

    All downloads are available now.

  • Why a Broadcast Camera is now an Essential Piece of Business Kit

    We’ve all heard about award winning movies being shot with no budget in someone’s bedroom, or internet video sensations being filmed on just a smart phone, but the truth is, to make a video fit for broadcasting, whether for television or the internet, you simply can’t beat recording with a broadcast camera.

    These days, it seems that every business is trying to imbed corporate videos into their website, or producing their own TV channel on You Tube or Vimeo. But the results can be a mixed bag. Whilst there is no denying that a great quality video can do wonders to shift a product, raise brand awareness or create a loyal customer base, this really only works if you produce high quality, well shot videos.

    So how can you ensure your video beats the competition?

    Well the most important thing you need to film a high quality, professional video is high quality, professional recording equipment. And that means investing in a broadcast camera. But remember that the key word here is investment. A broadcast camera will pay dividends in the long run and provide you with the glossy film quality product that your business needs.  You can choose to buy or rent a broadcast camera, but if your long term plan is to film many business videos and set up your own TV channel, then it is worth buying the equipment and making sure someone is trained to use it.

    An entry level broadcast camera really isn’t as expensive as you might think. And the great news is that the technology is now available to everyone, so the opportunity to make high quality, innovative videos is there for businesses to utilise. So what are you waiting for?

    In a previous blog entry we looked at some simple advice to help you film your own video and ensure that it stands out from the crowd. And really the first thing you need to do is investigate which broadcast camera is right for your business, taking into account budget and functionality. There are many different types of broadcast camera on the market, so decide what features are important to your work, such as connectivity options, outputs, weight and whether you will predominantly use your broadcast camera in the studio or out in the field. You’ll also need to consider professional sound equipment and editing software in order to get the most from your camera and make the most professional video possible.

    But a broadcast camera isn’t just essential kit for making corporate videos and promoting your business online, schools, colleges and all kinds of educational establishments also need to use broadcast cameras for teaching and extracurricular activities every day. And of course, in the booming creative media industries, filming and editing is of paramount importance, so you really can’t afford to be without a broadcast camera.

  • New PTZ line-up from Panasonic

    Panasonic launches two new PTZ cameras

    AW-HE40

    Panasonic's new AW-HE40 a new remote camera with a range of features that make it ideal for the lecture, conference and leisure market. Featuring a newly developed 1/2.3-type MOS sensor and a Digital Signal Processor, for high sensitivity and high resolution, the AW-HE40 allows simple set up and operation.

    Key features:

    In addition to a 30x optical zoom, the camera features an additional digital zoom, meaning it’s possible to achieve a 40x zoom, while maintaining high resolution thanks to Super Resolution technology.
    The camera’s ‘night mode’ makes it possible to capture images in low light conditions, and the AW-HE40 can be set to switch to night mode automatically depending on surrounding light levels.
    Power can be supplied via LAN cable and, because it is not necessary to install a power supply or even a local AC outlet, installation costs can be significantly reduced.
    Panasonic Product Marketing Manager, Markus Naegele said, “This new remote camera shines in a variety of applications thanks to its high performance zoom, wide angle view and outstanding colour reproduction. It’s very easy to install thanks a single cable Power over Ethernet connection, while you can control the camera remotely from a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone.”

    The quiet in operation pan-tilt camera, has a pan range of ±175 ° and can move through 90° in a second, for fast control.

    AW-HE130-web

    AW-HE130

    The new AW-HE130, a pan/tilt/zoom camera incorporates recently-developed high-sensitivity, low-noise 1/3” 3-MOS imagers that produce stunning pictures, even in low light conditions. Revolutionary new features include Power over Ethernet+ (POE+) for easier integration, and multi-stream transmission of H.264 HD video and audio (up- to 1080/60p at 25Mbps).

    New features in the HE130 are:

    3G-SDI output up to 1080/60p; plus HD/SD-SDI, HDMI, and SD composite
    Stereo mic/line-level inputs for embedded and streaming audio
    Night Mode for hi-res, near IR video acquisition (using an optional IR-illuminator in the 900nm range)
    Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S)
    IP-Live Preview for remote control and management of up to 16 cameras via a browser
    F1.6 20X zoom lens
    With an exceptional signal to noise ratio of 60dB (F8/2000lx, minimum illumination, 2.0 lx), 1000 TV lines of resolution, and such advanced features as 12-axis color correction and Panasonic’s exclusive DRS (Dynamic Range Stretch) and Hybrid Digital Noise Reduction, the HE130 continues to set performance standards for integrated pan-tilt cameras. The HE130 includes the same new three 2.4 megapixel MOS imagers and Digital Signal Processor (DSP) used in Panasonic’s latest broadcast camcorders.

    Control

    RS-422 serial compatible with controllers designed for use with previous generations of Panasonic remote camera systems
    Direct and Web-based IP remote control
    Direct IP or serial control is possible using Panasonic’s AW-RP50N and AW-RP120, plus systems from Crestron, AMX and Winnov
    Built-in Web-server enables secure control, live preview, and setup from browser-equipped PCs

    Streaming Video

    Streaming output is available from the HE130 in several forms and formats, and at a wide range of transmission speeds. For remote production and video acquisition, four simultaneous streams are available in either H.264 or JPEG. Video resolutions of up to 1080/60p are available at rates of up to 25Mbps. For IP-Live remote monitoring and control, up to 16 cameras may be viewed simultaneously in a single Browser window, with extensive on-screen camera controls available when a single camera is selected for viewing.

    Other useful new features include:

    Native 24p and 30p output for teleproduction3
    iPro™ support for synergy with Panasonic’s high-end security systems
    Digital access authentication
    MAC/Android support for web monitoring
    Colour adjustment by colour temperature
    VISCA remote control support
    The HE130’s optical zoom lens covers an extended range of shooting situations, from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto, with 35mm equivalents of 32.1 mm at the wide-angle end to 642.5 mm at the telephoto. The built-in remote-controllable four-position ND filter (clear, 1/8, 1/64, IR thru) facilitates flexible exposure control in brightly lit shooting situations.

    The camera’s integrated pan-tilt head covers a wide range of motion, with a pan of ±175° and a tilt of –30° to 210°.

  • The camera maketh the photographer

    eos_6d

    Is there any truth in that? How much does the right professional camera really influence your shots – or is it all about having a creative vision and an eye for what looks good? Whether you're a photographer, broadcast journalist or work in another profession that uses a camera, how much stock do you place in your equipment?

     

    “I need my camera to get the job done”

    If you're the kind of person who needs the same camera day in, day out, you're also not likely to be very flexible in other areas of your life. In fact, your attitude towards your equipment can say a lot about your personality. If you staunchly refuse to use anything other than Canon, you're a bit of a stick-in-the-mud, some might say, although it could just be that you're loyal to your brand of choice. Whatever your reasons for sticking with one specific camera, you'll want to spend time and money choosing the perfect camera for your needs, and once you have it, you'll take great care of it, that's for sure.

     

    “It was the camera's fault”

    If you're using a different camera from usual whilst shooting, it can be tempting to blame your dodgy, blurred shots on the equipment. A professional never blames their equipment, and you should (hopefully) have the skills and experience to make your shots look great no matter what kit you have available. You may not always have your broadcast camera or DSLR to hand, so whatever you're filming or shooting, it helps to have the ability to be flexible when it comes to using different equipment.

     

    “The lighting was wrong”

    Lighting is equally as important as the type of camera and lens set-up you're using, and if the lighting is wrong, your images/film just aren't going to look good, even if you're using a high-end professional camera. If the lighting seems wrong, adjust it – take a few sample shots more and adjust it again. Eventually it will be perfect!

     

    Whilst it's true that you need professional equipment to do a good job, you can't blame lack of creativity or vision on your camera, so don't even try. Spend some time finding equipment that works for you and then focus on honing your skills so that no matter what camera you're using, you'll always complete great work – it is possible if you put your mind to it!

  • Making your own business TV show

    shutterstock_233324071

    With the rise of the internet, new media offers a whole, dizzying, range of new ways for businesses to make an impression online, from a simple website, to producing TV channels of your own on YouTube. For many businesses, a presence on the latter can be great, but how do you go about creating your own, professional looking video? Sadly, whilst everyone can access the technology to make a video, not everyone has the skills to do so. Grainy, badly filmed and poor sound quality videos abound online; however, yours doesn't need to be one of them! Here's the basic low-down on how to produce your own show.

    The essential kit

    Hire (or buy, if you're setting up a full-time channel) professional broadcast equipment. This includes cameras, sound equipment and professional editing software (buy, in the latter case). Quality here is key, as you'll stand out from the increasingly large crowd if your shots are well framed, your camera doesn't shake and the sound quality is top-notch. You can still take the DIY approach to filming and producing, but the results will look far from DIY.

    Lights, camera, action and, erm, script?

    Nobody is a natural in front of the camera (don't believe a word of it if you hear otherwise). A script is essential and that's not as in a script to read from rigidly, with no “stage” presence. Write your script, bullet your key messages and then go off and learn it by heart. Yes, by heart. Keep prompt cards at eye level, close to the camera while performing. Smooth and seamless delivery makes for a more convincing message.

    Take one, take two, take as long as you need

    If you've noticed that most film directors are grey haired and look like they don't get enough sleep, there's a reason for that. Quality rarely happens spontaneously and TV and film are as much about smoke and mirrors as they are about great acting performances. A rushed broadcast looks like a rushed broadcast, a professional one makes your audience sit up and take notice.

    Why go to all the trouble?

    Content gets richer as every day passes. The value in a strong, well-produced video on your site is immeasurable, yet the biggest problem with online selling and promotion is gaining trust. A site based purely on text and still images could be created by anyone, anywhere and mean very little. If you love your business and your industry, putting a face (or talking head) to your site creates trust and the sense of dealing with “real” people. It's the sort of thing that can't be bought!

  • Blackmagic Design Desktop Video 10.3 Support for the new DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G including the following new video formats:

    Tech Bulletin Desktop Video 10.3

    Desktop Video 10.3 is available to download now from the Blackmagic Design website at the following link;

    DOWNLOAD UPGRADE HERE NOW

    This software update adds support for DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G including 12 bit 4:4:4 and up to 2160p60 Ultra HD frame rates.

    This software includes everything you need to set up your DeckLink, UltraStudio, Intensity and H.264 Pro Recorder for video capture and playback.

    What's new in Desktop Video 10.3

    Support for the new DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G including the following new video formats:
    • Adds support for 2160p60 Ultra HD 10 bit YUV 4:2:2 via 12G-SDI and Dual Link 6G-SDI
    • Adds support for 2K DCI 30p 12 bit RGB 4:4:4 via 3G-SDI and Stereoscopic 3D via Dual Link 3G-SDI
    • Adds support for 1080 HD 30p 12 bit RGB 4:4:4 via 3G-SDI and Stereoscopic 3D via Dual Link 3G-SDI
    General performance and stability improvements.

    Mac OS X Specific

    Minimum system requirements for Mac OS X
    • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later
    • Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or later
    • Mac OS X computer with either Thunderbolt, PCIe slot
    or USB 3.0
    • 4 GB of system memory
    Third Party Software Support
    • DaVinci Resolve 10 and 11
    • Apple Final Cut Pro X
    • Apple Motion 4
    • Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 and earlier
    • Adobe After Effects CC 2014 and earlier
    • Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 and earlier
    • Autodesk Smoke 2013
    • Avid Media Composer 7 or 8
    • Avid News Cutter 11
    • Avid Symphony 6.5
    • Avid Pro Tools 10, 11
    • The Foundry Nuke
    Windows Specific

    Minimum system requirements for Windows
    • Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit
    • Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
    • Microsoft Windows computer with either Thunderbolt, PCIe slot or USB 3.0
    • 4 GB of system memory
    Third Party Software Support
    • DaVinci Resolve 10 and 11
    • Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 and earlier
    • Adobe After Effects CC 2014 and earlier
    • Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 and earlier
    • Avid Media Composer 7 or 8
    • Avid Media Symphony 6 or 7
    • Avid News Cutter 6 or 7
    • Sony Vegas Pro 9
    • Fusion 7
    • The Foundry Nuke
    • Cyberlink Power Director
    • Corel Video Studio X5
    • VLC
    Linux Specific

    Minimum System Requirements for Linux

    Basic system requirements:
    • 32 bit x86 running Linux 2.6.18 or higher
    • 64 bit x86_64 running Linux 2.6.18 or higher
    A 64 bit kernel and ample memory is strongly recommended.

    Thunderbolt Hotplug Requirements

    Thunderbolt devices cannot be plugged in hot on kernels earlier than 2.6.30.

    Supported kernels older than 3.12 require an extra step after plugging the device in. You must tell the kernel to rescan the PCI bus using the following command:

    # sudo sh -c 'echo 1 > /sys/bus/pci/rescan'

    Kernel 3.12 and later support hotplug without the need for any extra steps.

    Supported Distributions

    This release has been tested on:
    • Ubuntu 10.04 - 14.04
    • Debian 6 - 7
    • Fedora 15 - 20
    • CentOS 5 - 6
    • OpenSUSE 12.3 - 13.1
    Full release notes including installation instructions are available in the ReadMe.txt found in the downloadable tar archive.

    Installing Desktop Video Software

    If you have installed the drivers prior to installing any of these applications, we recommend that you uninstall and reinstall the drivers. This will ensure that all relevant components are installed in their required locations.

    NOTE: Desktop Video 10.3.1 SDK has also been released for developers, this allows updating of hardware control and software interfaces for Desktop Video products and is also available to download now from the same support area of our web site.

    Additional Information

    Please check www.blackmagicdesign.com for additional information on third party software compatibility and minimum system requirements.

    Some applications may use third party code under license. For details please refer to the included "Third Party Licenses.rtf" document.

    © 2014 Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved. Blackmagic Design, Blackmagic, DeckLink, Multibridge, HDLink, Videohub, and "Leading the creative video revolution" are trademarks of Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd., registered in the U.S.A and other countries.

  • BBC Hit Daytime Drama Moving On Shot With Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

    Manchester, UK - November 13, 2014 - Blackmagic Design today has announced that the long standing daytime drama Moving On has returned to BBC One for a new series and was filmed entirely on the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K.

    The program, which debuted on British television in 2009, is now in its sixth series and was commissioned by Damien Kavanagh. Featuring cinematography by Andy Clark, each of the five self contained 45 minute dramas has its own cast but shares a central theme, following someone who is going through a big change in their life.

    “Moving On has transformed daytime viewing, it was the first drama to be commissioned for daytime in many years leading the way for the current crop of drama in the daytime output. In terms of program ratings, we have always won our slot by a significant margin, and the series has also performed well when being re shown during primetime, which is very significant when you consider the gulf between daytime and primetime production budgets,” said Patrick Hall of LA Productions.

    He goes on to add: “Not only did I look after the edit and grade, but I also designed the production workflow from acquisition through to delivery. We were very lucky to have a crew that embraced the opportunity of working with these cameras. They saw the quality of the output and believed that the changes to the production workflow, which had remained largely unchanged in five years, would be well worth it.”

    The Liverpool based independent production company shot just over a quarter of the program in 4K, the remainder was captured in ProRes 1080p25 using the log film mode. “Our storage calculations at the time simply didn’t allow us to shoot the whole thing in RAW. However, anything that we knew we wanted to punch in on during post, or that required specific paint and visual effects work, was all shot at 4K resolution. Otherwise, the 10 bit flavor of ProRes gave us plenty of latitude during the grade. I was able to push and pull significantly where required. I must say that we had a superb starting point for the grade. Andy and his team did such a great job at the front end with light and shape that it meant we were tweaking rather fixing in post.“

    “Our ultimate aim is always to achieve a high end look on the dramas we produce, irrespective of the budget or project. What the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K gives you is a filmic look that is really organic, and is comparable with far more expensive cameras for, in this particular case, a tight daytime budget,” concludes Hall. “We used the EF version of the camera which meant we could use some nice cine style prime lenses, again rarely affordable on daytime budgets. The combination of glass, the camera’s native look and fantastic skills from our camera team means it’s very difficult to argue with the high end results we’ve achieved, so much so that we’ll be using the same camera packages on the seventh series, which has already been commissioned.”

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