Articles tagged #IO
Articles tagged
#IO

INTRODUCING X-ONE – EVS’ UNIFIED MULTICAM LIVE PRODUCTION SYSTEM

EVS has announced a brand-new product within its family of live production solutions - X-One. This all-in-one toolset, delivers the signature speed and reliability of EVS technology for live productions requiring six cameras or less. The new system is built with EVS’ software-defined technology foundation and puts all of the capabilities of a control room in the hands of a single production operator – all controlled from the solution’s touchscreen.

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Videocraft supports Driving Oz with the Black Dog

Videocraft is proud to announce its platinum sponsorship of Driving Oz with the Black Dog — an incredibly important year-long campaign to raise money and awareness for Lifeline Australia and mindDog. We have been incredibly lucky to be able to collaborate with our industry partners Sony Australia and Avid Technology to be able to put together a video and photography production package to help Paul and Kirstine and their family document their travels to the remote areas of Australia, raising awareness of these two important organisations.

In deciding to support Driving Oz with the Black Dog, Videocraft's Managing Director, Jeanette Taylor says it was a straightforward decision. "For the team at Videocraft, we can all relate to the Roadley's mission of awareness and the importance of supporting services such as Lifeline Australia and mindDog. Within the production and broadcast industry, we have all seen how the stress of the job can take over, and some of us have had experiences with anxiety or depression. It is important for our industry to have the conversation and be open to help our colleagues through these times." So we have geared up Driving Oz with some key products that will assist them in spreading their message further while travelling around the remote parts of our country. As you can imagine space is limited, so we have put together a specific documentary and photography kit that will allow Paul to not only capture the action of travelling around our beautiful country, but also to gather interviews from the field, record events on the tour and capture the key moments to help build the campaign for their very relevant and important messages.      

So what's in the Driving Oz's case of production gear?

With the assistance of David Green, from Sony Australia's Professional Solutions Division, we were able to come up with a kit specifically chosen to work well in the varied climates and locations the Driving OZ team will travel throughout the year. As well as provide tools that can capture the footage and audio at professional broadcast quality. David and the team at Sony went above and beyond to support the Driving Oz with the Black Dog and to support both Lifeline Australia and mindDog. The Driving Oz production kit includes a Sony PXW-X70 Camcorder, Sony A7II Digital Mirrorless Camera, some 4K Sony Action Cams plus a Sony Digital UWP Wireless Microphone package, Sony Monitoring Headphones, Manfrotto Rolling Travel Case and a copy of the industry's best editing software Avid's Media Composer for post production. The package offers them the best in image and sound acquisition in an unbelievably lightweight and compact size — perfect for the Tetris-style packing required for a family to fit their lives into camper/trailer and car for the next year.   We will be staying up to date with the Roadley family on their adventures and encouraging our network of industry friends to helps us to help them in raising awareness and funds for this important cause. So please share their story, donate to their MyCause page and keep the conversation open around your workplace, community, friends and family.

Why do we need to help Lifeline Australia and MindDog?

Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44. The overall suicide rate in 2014 was 12.0 per 100,000 in Australia. This is the highest rate in 10 years. The most recent Australian data (ABS, Causes of Death, 2014) reports deaths due to suicide in 2014 at 2,864. This equates to almost eight deaths by suicide in Australia each day. Most deaths by suicide in Australia are males, accounting for about three-quarters. However, during the past decade, there has been an increase in suicide deaths by females. The suicide rate amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is more than double the national rate. In 2014, suicide accounted for 5.2% of all Indigenous deaths compared to 1.8% for non-Indigenous people. For every death by suicide, it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt to end their lives. That is approximately 65,300 suicide attempts each year. Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Somewhere in Australia there is a new call to Lifeline every minute.   mindDog Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to help people procure, train and accredit psychiatric assistance dogs. A mindDog comes in many shapes and sizes, and may look different to other assistance dogs experienced by the public previously. Clients of mindDog are supported to find a suitable dog, train and eventually pass a public access test. Just like other assistance dogs, mindDogs are required access to public spaces in order to fulfill their duties. MEET LUNA Luna is Paul’s Mental Health Assistance Dog, MHAD (also known as a Service Dog). Luna is trained through mindDog Australia. Luna has saved Paul’s life by being there when he is really struggling. Luna senses Paul’s emotional/stress levels and responds when required, without being given a single verbal command. To read more about Luna - read her page on the Driving Oz with the Black Dog website   We also celebrated Kirstine's birthday with the Videocraft Melbourne team, so there was chocolate cake all around!

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NAB 2017: A Waiting Game

So, after lots of speculation and excitement, the NAB 2017 exhibition opened its doors with the usual crowds flooding in to be first to see all of the new advances in technology in the flesh. Talk of the impending ratification of the ST 2110 standard for IP video, and its variants had dominated discussion, and everyone in the broadcast industry seems all in agreement that these new standards will be the unified way forward.

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The 3 most interesting ideas to come from attending AvidConnect 2017

Firstly, this is not an Avid press release! AvidConnect (the annual Avid Customer Association event) is in its fourth year, and while it is a way for Avid to show off some of their new offerings and partnerships, there has always been some really interesting discussions about the industry we work in, and where we are headed. This year was no exception, and I have put together some of my thoughts on what I have seen over the weekend, and how I see this affecting our future. Here are three key points I have taken from AvidConnect2017, feel free to comment!

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Best Student Film Winner - The Righteous - Lights Canberra Action 2017

A piece of Hollywood returned to Canberra with the 16th year of Lights! Canberra! Action! film making festival. Filmmakers are given a list of ten items to include in their movie, with only ten days to shoot, edit and produce a seven minute film exploring a certain theme. The screening of the top twelve finalists took place outdoors in the Senate Rose Gardens at the Museum of Australian Democracy, with the awards winners announced immediately after the screening. Videocraft were proud to support the Best Student Film Award which was won by William He and Henri Scott for their film The Righteous - Something's wrong in the City of Right, and it's been left to a detective to uncover the truth. The film took out a number of awards on the night - Congratulations to William and Henri. EoR Media Award for Best Art Direction - William He Most Memorable Performance - Henri Scott Best Use of Theme - William He, Henri Scott Videocraft Award for Best Student Film - William He, Henri Scott  

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Videocraft Scores Hole-in-One at Oates Victorian Golf

The Oates Victorian Open is one of the premier events on the Australian golf calendar. Both men's and women’s championships are played simultaneously over four days at the beautiful 13th Beach golf course. This year organisers Golf Victoria wanted to raise the standard and level of innovation higher than ever before and include live streaming of the tournament. For that they turned to Sean Mulcahy from Australian Network Productions and Videocraft who provided all the OB and live streaming facilities. Mulcahy explained, “This event has gone from strength to strength and the addition of live streaming really took it to new heights. As a result I wanted an OB company that were innovative and that I could trust. Having dealt with Videocraft for years I knew they would be the perfect OB partner. They are a boutique operation who have great people like Andy Liell and Mark Grooby on their team, stock the very latest in equipment, have great local support and backup and a fantastic work ethic.” Having again been entrusted with the coverage of the Oates Victorian Open, the job of integrating live streaming and knowing golfing superstars including Karrie Webb, Nick Cullen and Richard Green would be taking part Mulcahy knew a great tournament awaited them and for that they needed to provide the very best services to meet expectations. He continued, “We asked Videocraft for a professional, high quality production and live streaming solution that could be backed up and supported by a substantial local presence and be very cost efficient to work within our tight budget. I’m delighted to say they 100% delivered. Most impressive was the way they answered all of our requirements with the utmost dedication and commitment. This meant I could trust them as I always have and knew I could rely on their solution.” Mulcahy and the Videocraft team designed and implemented a flexible and powerful onsite OB setup that included Yamaha audio, six channels of EVS, a Blackmagic 4K switcher, Ross Xpression graphics and RF links all based around Videocraft’s unique FlyPack. With the production day at the Open starting early and the live feed going to air at midday everyone on the team had to be prepared.

Mulcahy added, “Videocraft live switched the coverage whilst also integrating EVS replays and packages. The entire event was then played out to the Open’s official YouTube channel via a Livestream box. The aim was to provide a more intimate and informal coverage that included talking with the players in between shots. This also meant we had to be nimble and agile. We also set up a marquee where a host did player interviews. All in all the production was slick and efficient.” With a tight budget but a requirement for high production values Mulcahy and the Videocraft team in conjunction with the crew produced an end result which spoke volumes for the kind of OB production Videocraft has made such a name for itself in. Sean Mulcahy concluded, “I am extremely proud of our team for the job they did at the Oates Victorian Open. For such a small operation, the product was outstanding and in my view, has revolutionised golf coverage. Golf Victoria were ecstatic with the result and rightfully so as they can now comfortably lay claim to this country's most exciting golf tournament. I must again thank Videocraft who really went above and beyond in terms of service. They were committed, dedicated and professional at all times from prep to tournament to pack up and debrief, striving always to produce a job that everyone would be happy with. I genuinely couldn’t have done it without them.” To view some of the material that was streamed go to http://www.golfvic.org.au/oatesvicopenlive

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Videocraft Review: Zoom F8 Field Recorder

Zoom have come to the party with a fully-fledged field recorder and mixer they have named the F8. I’m not entirely sure of the origin of the name but I am going to take a wild stab in the dark and remember it as F for field, and 8 for the number of microphone pre-amps. I expect a field recorder to be built to take a bit of punishment, and from the looks of it Zoom have approached the design of this unit with that in mind. It isn't quite as much of a tank as the Sound Devices equivalents, but given the price that can be excused. It is also lighter and more compact than the Sound Devices offerings. Let’s take a wander around the F8 and discuss the ins and outs, so to speak.  

LEFT SIDE

The unit has eight mic/line combo inputs, that are distributed four at a time on either side. XLR is for mic level signals, and 1/4" TRS for line level signals. Joining inputs 1-4 on the left side are 2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC slots, a Mini USB connection (to use the F8 as a card reader or audio interface) and a HIROSE 4-pin DC input for providing external power. This is a nice touch as it allows you to put a garden variety Anton Bauer V-Lock in the bottom of your bag and run the unit all day long.

RIGHT SIDE

All audio outputs are located on the right side of the box along with Inputs 5-8, and we get two main TA-3 outputs (Mini XLR connectors), one 1/4" headphone jack and a SUB OUT 1/2, combined on a 3.5m TRS connector. Don't worry about the Main Outs being on TA-3 connectors, the unit comes with a couple of TA-3 to full sized XLR breakout cables to cover you, should you need to go to a camera or other device that requires run of the mill XLR flavour.

BACK

Before I get to the front, I'll quickly touch on the back. There is a 12V DC-IN barrel connector to connect the supplied AC adaptor, a Kensington lock if you need to tie it down (a little counterintuitive for a field recorder), a battery slot which holds 8 x AA batteries, a block style MIC-IN connector for connecting any of Zoom’s microphone capsules, and normal video BNC connectors for Timecode IN and OUT. The timecode connectors are independent of one another, and the output allows you to use the F8 as the timecode master on set, provided your cameras have BNC type TC inputs.  

FRONT

The front panel provides just enough knobs and buttons to get the job done, and is very well thought out. The display has a high enough resolution for everything to be nice and legible (even to my computer damaged eyes), provides a nice big recording time readout, timecode counter (including TC source and frame rate) and battery status which includes a live voltage readout. These elements remain at the top of the screen until you dive into the menu. The large encoder next to the display allows you to navigate the menu, and when you are not in the menu it will allow you to scroll through various metering windows. Each input channel has a REC Arm button with their respective number on it, a post fader for managing input level, LED's for level metering and input state (red for record, orange for solo), and last but not least, a PFL button. The PFL button is by far my favourite feature. As soon as you press it, the display jumps into a sub menu dedicated to the channel settings of the specific channel you have just soloed. This is a massive time saver as far as setup goes, as you don't have to go digging around in menus to do simple everyday tasks such as engaging phantom power, high pass filters, limiters and setting pan. With one touch of a button, you can hear the relevant input front and centre, a couple of quick clicks and a twist of the input fader and you are ready to go. Press PFL again to clear the solo, and the display reverts back to your main metering. Excellent design and a big thumbs up! The front panel also provides a slate mic and slate switch, allowing you to verbalise a slate onto all tracks using the built in mic, or to stripe a reference tone. Slate tone can be momentary, or you can lock it on. The level and frequency are adjustable, however the unit defaults to -20dBFS and 1khz.  

ROUTING and MID-SIDE

The unit gives you a large range of routing options, and any of the inputs can be routed to any of the outputs, either pre or post fader. You also have the option to send the left and right mix output to the main or sub outs. The headphones have the same routing options with the addition of Mid-Side and Mono monitoring. The Main and Sub outs also feature frame delay and limiters. It is worth noting that Zoom have abbreviated Main and Sub as M and S in the routing menus, not to be confused with MS for mid-side. On the subject of mid-side, it provides the ability to decode MS inputs into stereo for recording purposes or allows you to monitor aforementioned MS sources as stereo if you want to keep them separate during record. You can also individually adjust the side level when the MS inputs are linked, giving you that extra level of control.  

RECORDING

The F8 has two SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots and you have a number of options when it comes to defining what each card will record. There is no option for overflow recording but given the price of SD cards these days, it is unlikely that feature will be required. If you want redundancy simply pop in two matching cards, set them both to the same recording setup, and the unit will name them in the same way so that they become duplicate copies. They have included Poly WAV recording which means you get one multichannel file with all ISO's, as opposed to individual mono or stereo files. This is handy to minimise the number of files created keep related tracks locked together. File protection is provided in the form of periodic file saving during record, just in case you lose power or accidentally remove the card. A 6 second pre-record buffer can be activated in case you are in an unpredictable environment, and you also have the option of using the dual channel REC feature to record two copies of the same input at different levels. This feature is only available for inputs 1-4 as it requires REC channels 5-8 to store the parallel recordings. As you would expect Broadcast Wave Form at 48khz and 24 bit is the default REC format. Sample rates go all they way up to 192khz without sacrificing any recording channels, and if you need long record times you can switch to MP3 format and record at bit rates of 128, 192 or 320kbps.  

METADATA and APP CONTROL

Metadata management is included and will allow you to predefine scene name, the mode of scene increments, track names, notes, and the take naming format. This is a must have if your recordings are going into a commercial post-production workflow. Metadata can be setup using the jog wheel on the front of the unit but as with any text entry of this type, it can be tedious. A nice touch is that the entry menus do have history, allowing you to recall a previously used scene name or note. The unit has been built with Bluetooth connectivity so that you can connect an iOS device, and they have put together a tidy little app to give you a range of control. Once I had set it up, I was hopping that I would be able to use it to predefine the metadata, however it wouldn't let me do it prior to recording. Once I had done some recording it allowed me to edit the metadata after the fact, however personally this is slightly less than preferable. This isn't a deal breaker, it just means that you need to be wary of the workflow. The app gives you similar control to what you have on the front panel of the unit, and some (but not all) of the menu controls. I have to give Zoom a tick of approval for the mixer window inside the app, if you are wanting to perform a stereo mix on the fly this is a much easier way to control it compared with using the menu data wheel on the front of the recorder.  

FINAL THOUGHTS

All in all this is a fantastic little field recorder at an exceptionally reasonable price (AUS RRP $2,149.00). It does everything an amateur or intermediate level sound recordist requires, and could also be used to record immersive audio for the up and coming VR content boom. Paired with a custom made Portabrace bag, it is comfortable and easy to operate. If you have been battling along with a handy recorder and want to step up the quality of your production audio but have been struggling to justify the cost of some of the professional options on the market, then you should take a good hard look at this unit, as it is the one for you. You can order the Zoom F8 from Videocraft: Product Code: FXR108 or click here to be redirected to the product in our online shop.        

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Fujifilm Announces Fujinon Cabrio XK6X20 Zoom Lens

FUJIFILM has announced that it will release the FUJINON XK6x20 as a new addition to its lineup of 4K-compatible digital cinema camera Cabrio zoom lenses in late June. Equipped with a PL mount*2, the most common format for cinema cameras, the XK6x20 is a standard zoom lens that delivers T3.5*1 brightness for the entire zoom range from 20mm to 120mm. The XK6x20 will be showcased for the first time at NAB 2016 to be held in Las Vegas at the LVCC from April 18 to 21, 2016. Designed for the video production and PL cine markets, this 20-120mm Cabrio features industry-proven Cabrio flexibility - at an affordable price. It is also equipped with a unique detachable servo drive unit, making it suitable for use as an ENG-style or standard PL lens. The 20-120mm Cabrio is also fitted with a nine-blade iris, to capture the most natural looking imagery possible. It comes equipped with all the lens data outputs that are required by today’s cine-style shooters. LDS and /i Tech metadata compatibility are very useful when users need to record the position information of zoom, iris, and focus for computer animation and similar postproduction operations. The digital servo on this new lens has 16-bit encoding, so operators can be assured that the lens data outputs are extremely accurate. The 20-120mm Cabrio XK can be controlled using cinema industry standard wireless controllers, as well as existing FUJINON wired units. Meanwhile, the zoom’s barrel markings are luminous for visibility in dark shooting situations - a nice-to-have touch that reflects the company’s deep understanding of real-life cinema shooting conditions. In recent years, the need for employing visual content that utilise mild bokeh created with high image quality and shallow depth-of-field lenses that are unique to cinema cameras has increased for shooting various scenes for commercials, concerts, documentaries and dramas. Fujifilm released FUJINON Cine Lenses compatible with digital cinema cameras in 2002. Since then, it has provided high-resolution, high-quality lenses for digital cinema camera customers in various production sites in the cinema and broadcasting industries. The XK6x20 digital cinema camera zoom lens offers high optical performance compatible with 4K cameras and covers a wide focal length range from 20mm to 120mm. It also realises T3.5 brightness throughout the entire zoom range. There is no T drop*3 and it offers comfortable operation enabling various scenes to be shot with this single lens. It also features 0.8mm gear pitch*4 for compatibility with standard cine accessories.

*1 T (T number) is index that indicates brightness of lens taking F value and transmittance into account. Smaller the number, brighter the lens. *2 16mm / 35mm cinema camera lens mount used by the world’s leading German cinema camera manufacturer Arnold and Richter Cine Technik *3 Full transmission aperture is fixed in any focal length, and T number does not change when operating zoom. *4 Distance between gear teeth

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Videocraft recognised as a Victorian finalist in the 2015 City Switch Awards

o Lighting - Changed 98% of our lighting to LED lights and we expect a 14187 kWh reduction in energy use for the upcoming year.

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Videocraft Designs, Supplies, Builds and Installs New Television Studio for RMIT

Recently Videocraft played a major part in the delivery of RMIT’s New Academic Street (NAS) consolidation project which included providing teaching and learning environments for students in their Screen and Media, Screen and Media Productions, Communications and Journalism programs. The scope of works required to deliver this project involved Videocraft designing, building and being responsible for the full construction of RMIT’s new TV Studio A.   Videocraft MD James Taylor explained, “This was a very comprehensive project and build and involved the acoustic treatment of ceiling, walls and windows, specialist acoustic doors, an upgrade of existing mechanical and electrical services and the relocation of existing equipment which was no mean feat. Bearing all this in mind Videocraft fulfilled all of RMIT’s audio visual requirements.”   Moving studios is never easy. Moving studios and simultaneously building a new one is even more complex as Taylor detailed, “This was a challenge for all involved. Maintaining continuity of business whilst shutting down one facility and building and troubleshooting a new state-of-the-art studio definitely had its challenges. That said we approached the broadcast AV installation in our usual professional manner and completed the project on a very tight timeframe and within the budget.”   According to Taylor the program constraints were difficult to achieve however he added, “Despite this major constraint we delivered in full and worked extensively with the end user to ensure their functional requirements were comprehensively addressed. I’m delighted to say RMIT were very happy with the end result.”   When all was complete Videocraft built and installed a state-of-the art digital television studio and master control including fibre link to C31, live streaming capabilities and green lighting technologies throughout. To which Taylor added, “All of this on a very tight budget by and within a very short timeframe. I’m very proud of our team for making this happen. It was an incredible effort and they were so professional.”   Videocraft supplied RMIT with the equipment for two TV studios with all associated cabling, two control rooms, comms, master control, cameras, audio, vision switchers, routers, racks, patch bays, CCUs and graphics. Now complete and ‘on-air’ the new studio is a dynamic and busy teaching facility catering to both VE and HE classes at RMIT in addition to RMITV. As a result students can now put live broadcasts to air on CTV31, live stream broadcasts over IP and cater for numerous pre-records and teaching activities.   James Taylor concluded, “RMIT’s feedback is that the users are ecstatic with the new spaces and the overall user experience has been excellent. The students find the state-of-the-art gear we installed a joy to work with and represents best industry practice, which in turn ensures the graduates are industry ready.”  

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Videocraft sponsors ACS Cinekids Program and Awards.

In 2015, Videocraft became the first National sponsor dedicated solely to Australian Cinematographers Society CineKids Program and Awards. Videocraft and the ACS will work closely together to further promote and develop ACS CineKids in order for it to reach a broader group of eligible children, who will benefit from participating as a member of ACS CineKids.

Some of the benefits for ACS CineKids members will be:
~ Prize vouchers for the ACS National CineKids Gold certificate winner presented at the National Awards in 2016 and for the State & Territory Awards Gold certificate winners in each age category ~ A special Videocraft promo pack voucher for every CineKids members when they join ~ Plus support the National ACS in its commitment to mentoring ACS Cinekids events

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Panasonic Announces 4K Large Sensor Handheld AG-DVX200 and 4K Studio and Box Cameras plus GH4 Firmware update

AG-DVX200 4K Large-Sensor Handheld Camcorder Features Top-End Performance Offering many top-end features such 4K/60p recording, a 13X optical zoom and a V-Log L gamma curve (12 stops of latitude, target) and delivering a shallow depth of field and a wide field of view, the DVX200 is the ideal companion camera to the company’s groundbreaking VariCam 35 4K camera/recorder. The DVX200 will be optimized for 4K/HD production and shares the esteemed VariCam family characteristics of filmic tonality and colorimetry, with natural, subtle rendering of skin flesh tones. It willoffer a V-Log curve emulating the natural grey-scale rendition of the VariCam 35. The camcorder will be available in late 2015 with a suggested list price under USD$5000. The new handheld 4K camcorder will offer an array of professional features including a newly-designed Leica Dicomar 4K F2.8~F4.5 zoom lens (4K/24p: 29.5 mm ~ 384.9 mm, HD: 28 mm ~ 365.3mm, 35 mm equivalent), time-code in/out, 3G HD-SDI and HDMI 2.0 (4K) video outs, easy focus and zooming, and programmable user buttons. The DVX200 will record 4K (4096 × 2160) / 24p, UHD (3840 × 2160) / HD (1920 × 1080) 60p / 50p / 30p / 25p / 24p in either MP4 / MOV file formats. There are two SD card** slots, facilitating backup and relay recording. For professionals working worldwide, the camera’s master frame rate is selectable between 59.94Hz (23.98Hz) / 50.00Hz / 24.00Hz. The DVX200’s three manual operation lens rings—13x zoom (Cam driven), focus and iris—will provide a comfortable manual control similar to an interchangeable lens camera, but without the need for actual lens changes. The zoom ring's solid feel and smooth action allow delicate ultra-slow zooming. In addition, the camera’s multi-step zoom control provides fast response and smooth zoom action, yielding the creative freedom every camera operator desires. The zoom control on the handle enables variable speed zoom, allowing fine zoom control even for low angle shots. The DVX200 also features an enhanced Image Stabilizer,including a five-axis Hybrid Image Stabilizer and 4x correction-area Image Stabilizer that produces clear images without blurring, and a micro-drive focus unit that improves focus speed, tracking and capture performance, facilitating 4K focusing and shallow focus shooting. Panasonic Introduces AK-UB300 Multi-Purpose Camera With Simultaneous 4K and HD Output The company is previewing the AK-UB300 4K multi-purpose camera for remote studio, weather and traffic reporting, image magnification and sports implementations. The UB300 is equipped with a one-inch MOS sensor that outputs a UHD signal up to 3840x2160/59.94p, with the ability to simultaneously output HD (up to 1080/59.94p).   Panasonic Expands Studio Camera Line-up With 4K and High-Speed 1080P Models Also shown for the first time is the AK-UC3000 4K-ready studio system, targeted at studios and productions requiring high-end functionality at an affordable price. The UC3000 outputs a UHD signal up to 3840/2160/60p, while also delivering superior picture quality in HD. The camera’s B4 mount accommodates the gamut of existing 2/3-inch lenses to maximize customers’ return on investment in existing lenses, and allows a wider and more economical choice of glass for sports, concerts and similar applications. Lumix GH4 Firmware update Version 2.2 At NAB, it was announced that the award winning LUMIX GH4 will have firmware update (Ver.2.2) available later this month, enabling recording anamorphic video content. Unlike complex digital post processing needed to achieve the classic Hollywood look, many effects that have became so popular with anamorphic film capture can now be achieved optically in the LUMIX GH4. Thanks in part to its Micro Four Thirds format and 4K recording ability, firmware Ver.2.2 for the LUMIX GH4 enables an Anamorphic (4:3) Mode capable of recording video in 3328 x 2496 pixel (equivalent to approx. 8.3-megapixel) resolution at a frame rate of either 23.98, 24, 25 or 29.97 fps. With an anamorphic lens such as 2x*1 you can capture and un-squeeze a 3356x2496 image in post-production. In addition, 4:2:2 / 10 bit HDMI output is also available*2. A further enhancement of the new firmware is the addition of a very high shutter speed of 1/16,000 sec. when using its electronic shutter mode. New HD Studio and Field Cameras Building on the widespread success of the AK-HC3800 studio model, the company will introduce the high resolution AK-HC5000 studio camera, capable of high-speed output up 200fps. The camera incorporates new 2/3” 2.2M 3-CMOS sensors with high sensitivity and low noise, and is 1080/60p native, making it ideal for sports trucks, and staging/rental applications where 1080i/720p operations must be native and clean. Panasonic Announces AJ-PX380 1/3-inch AVC-Ultra Shoulder-Mount, Fully Loaded for Modern Field News Operations Panasonic is premiering the AJ-PX380 1/3-inch AVC-ULTRA shoulder-mount camcorder with comprehensive networking capabilities and dual-codec recording, making it an optimal tool for fast-moving ENG operations. The PX380 joins the latest series of Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA camcorders with built-in wireless/wired streaming capabilities, and will be available in September 2015 with a suggested list price under USD$12,000, including supplied lens and viewfinder. Panasonic Adventure Introduces the Wearable POV Action-cam HX-A1 Panasonic is debuting the A1, its latest wearable POV Action-cam, weighing a mere 1.6 ounces. The camera’s rugged structure keeps water and dust out, making it an ideal choice for any adventure thanks to its high durability. The A1 also shoots in total darkness with an IR light source.  

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Ross Video Announces Inception News Version 9 at NAB 2015

At NAB2015 Ross Video unveils version 9.0 of Inception News, Ross’ newsroom computer system which will be featured at NAB on booth #N3906 and available in June 2015. Inception v9 further expands upon the Ross browser-based newsroom, offering an all-new instant messaging platform, and further improving customization with the addition of columns and validators that can be tailored to various environments for the specific needs and desires of your news environment.
"We're breaking new ground and have designed a product that meets the needs of news in the 21st century. The features in Inception v9 have been driven by requests from our rapidly growing customer base,” said Shawn Snider, Marketing Product Manager for Inception. "We are delighted to be able to respond quickly to customer feature requests, and the new platform that Inception is built on permits us to do just that. With flexible workflows and social media built right into the core, Inception is an entirely browser-based, platform agnostic environment that users can access from both the newsroom and in the field." Inception News is one of the fastest growing news products available, due in part to its modern news workflows, tightly integrated social media capabilities, and easy-to-learn browser-based interface. Within Inception, reporters can quickly create multi-platform content destined for broadcast, social media, and the Web, and plan their day with a rich assignment management interface. In addition to managing news wires, reporters can also leverage social media for news gathering, create geo-targeted searches for relevant keywords within the news environment, or bring social media content right into the production with a simple drag and drop interface. New to v9, Inception is introducing an integrated notification and instant messaging system, permitting users to quickly communicate directly within the newsroom. Users can quickly send one-on-one messages, engage in group chats and virtual meetings, or even share documents and photos right within the conversation. Furthermore, Inception brings context to content creation, with the ability for users working with running orders, assignments, playlists, or stories to instantly converse with anyone else viewing that content. This conversation is then permanently linked to the content, and will be archived alongside the story or rundown. Inception has also added the ability to completely customize the running order, assignment, and story grids, with users being able to add custom columns with various validation and presentation options such as dropdown lists, checkboxes, and date and time fields, among others. This customization permits newsrooms to truly tailor the environment to their needs and existing workflows.

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New Australian Multi-Platform Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror Series uses Fujinon Cabrio Lenses, Sony F5 Cameras and Videocraft

VETUS is a new multi-platform Australian sci-fi/fantasy/horror live action web series, comic book and video game set in 15th century Romania. Directed by Alan Chen and starring Mia Pistorius (Wonderland, Spartacus) as Rosa and Jai Koutrae (Terminus, The Half Dead) as Vlad that used Videocraft as an equipment partner and a Sony F5 camera and Fujinon Cabrio lens combo to shoot its live action. Producer and cinematographer on VETUS Benjamin Shepherd explained, “I have been working on-set with the Sony F5 for sometime now, so much so that I fell in love with it and had to add it to my kit. It’s such a versatile camera, you can spec up or down depending on the type of project and its requirement. I have found it serves as a great camera for about 70% of my work. I am still a big advocate in picking the right tool for the right job so my approach to each project is the same. That said it’s great to see the Sony F5 come up as often as it does.”   [caption id="attachment_1923" align="aligncenter" width="433"] Sony F5 and Fujinon Cabrio lenses in use on the set of VETUS. Photo by Philip Erbacher www.fleshskinhairblood.com[/caption] Shepherd had a number of technical considerations as joint cinematographer and producer when selecting the right camera and lens package for the VETUS series teaser and four character clips. He continued, “Without giving too much away the teaser film is broken up into two distinct visual styles which I wanted to achieve in camera. My approach to achieve this was to shoot the ethereal world sequence with vintage anamorphics and the rest of the sequences with spherical lenses. Anticipating that the films, especially the teaser, were to be treated with heavy VFX I needed a camera that would ideally be able to deliver at least 4K resolution and RAW. I intended to shoot the ethereal world sequence with anamorphics so the camera of choice needed to be able to handle the 2x anamorphic lenses along with a range of spherical glass. Another technical requirement was shooting the character clips off speed and doing so while at 4K RAW was an added requirement.” [caption id="attachment_1922" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Sony F5 and Fujinon Cabrio lenses in use on the set of VETUS. Photo by Philip Erbacher www.fleshskinhairblood.com[/caption] Shooting out on location at Oberon in a pine forest Shepherd and the VETUS crew were dealing with rough undulating terrain and also a tight shooting schedule. The camera and lens package needed to be small and nimble as they had a reduced camera crew and didn’t want to jeopardise the Steadicam operator’s safety running with a large camera rig. Shepherd continued, “The versatility and quality of the F5 for the price point is fantastic. It can be built as a run and gun ENG style camera but then also spec’d up to a 4K RAW cinema camera. These days we are spoilt for choice with so many camera options, but I feel the Sony F5 is one of the best bang for your buck cameras in the market. The evolution of the F series has been really impressive, Sony are keeping their promises and even listening to users on their online community which says a lot considering the experiences users are having with some other camera manufacturers. The F5 is sitting in a position in the market where it can be considered for drama, documentaries and ENG productions, all without too much compromise and it won’t break the budget.” [caption id="attachment_1921" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Director Alan Chen working overseeing the performance. Photo by Philip Erbacher www.fleshskinhairblood.com[/caption] The workflow on VETUS was simple and efficient. Dual recording 4K RAW on SSDs and 2K XAVC on internal SxS cards meant Shepherd walked off set with proxies ready to go. Offline was done in Adobe Premiere CC with Cutting Edge grading the teaser. As well as choosing the right camera Shepherd had a choice of equipment partners to consider. His choice was a straightforward one as he explained, “Videocraft and Panavision are my go to rental houses for the VETUS project. Videocraft being Sony specialists supplied me with specific Sony gear and also the Fujinon lenses. The Videocraft team are delightful to work with and with a relationship ongoing for close to 10 years now, they are one of my favourites. I have bought and hired plenty of gear with Shane in sales and Nick in rentals, as they have been very supportive and unknowingly a key factor to my growth as a cinematographer in the industry.” With camera and equipment partners chosen all that remained was his choice of lenses. The result was surprising according to Shepherd due to the quality he ended up achieving for the price. He added, “The Fujinon Cabrio series are such a neat set of lenses. My criteria for the spherical lenses was resolution, clarity, speed, look and feel and practicality of on-set use. When researching my options I knew I needed to produce an image that maintained the 4K resolution but at the same time wasn't overly sharp. Pulling references and reading various articles I found that the Cabrio lenses performed at their sharpest at T5.6, but for my purposes it was too sharp, the image contrast and resolution was looking a little too harsh so I shot the with the Cabrios around T4, as wide open at T2.9. They are a touch softer compared to T4 but once closed down by half a stop the image settles nicely.” Comparing the use of primes versus zooms brought in the two criteria factors of lens speed and practicality of use. Ultimately the shooting schedule and reduced camera crew in rough terrain meant we needed a swift and nimble setup, so the zooms were chosen and the Cabrio 19-90 and 85-300 lenses were able to pull through with workable speeds of T2.9 and T4 respectively. The Cabrios did such a great job and have a really nice look. For VETUS stylistically I decided to work with more mid to longer focal lengths, the Cabrios bokeh had a really nice look and the colour rendition was very natural.” On-set Shepherd set about using his F5 and Cabrio combo to the best of its capabilities. He added, “I also underrated the native ISO (2000EI) of the sensor by setting my light meter and in camera monitoring LUT to hover between 640 and 800 ISO. By over exposing the RAW I could take full advantage of the sensor’s dynamic range and data but also make sure my shadows were super crisp and as noiseless as possible. Being a dark film I wanted to make sure the image was going to have as much flexibility in the grade and VFX. I opted to use the slog3/sgamut3 as my gamma and colour gamut setting with a hypergamma as my monitoring LUT.” [caption id="attachment_1924" align="aligncenter" width="650"] The series' lead, Rosa played by Mia Pistorius, prepares for the next scene along side Alan Chen and Benjamin Shepherd. Photo by Philip Erbacher www.fleshskinhairblood.com[/caption] The Sony F5 had two basic setups for two different scenes in the VETUS teaser. When the crew were shooting the ethereal world sequence they were using vintage Lomo Anamorphic lenses with the F5 configured to handle the 2x squeeze factor of the lenses which meant Shepherd could watch a de-squeezed image on-set – something he found a real bonus explaining, “That was such a great feature to have even though the Super35 sensor is a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. When shooting the rest of the sequences I was shooting with the Fujinon Cabrio spherical lenses. These lenses took advantage of the full frame of the Super35 4K sensor, therefore in camera we ran anamorphic guide frames so we could match all footage for the final aspect ratio output of 2.35:1. When we approached the VFX live action plates I ran the viewing monitor naked without any guide frames, framing with the full 1.85:1 image which meant I could give VFX as much resolution as possible.” For more on VETUS go to: www.facebook.com/vetusseries or www.mindconsole.net

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Avid Announces New Innovations Delivering on Avid Everywhere for Audio

Avid® (Nasdaq: AVID) today introduced a comprehensive global ecosystem for the audio industry delivering on Avid Everywhere™. Enabled by the Avid MediaCentral Platform, these audio innovations bring together artists, technology vendors, media organizations, and publishers onto one unified platform so they can create, collaborate, and distribute music and audio content more powerfully, efficiently, and profitably. “The goal of Avid Everywhere is to provide a common platform where everyone—from aspiring pros to established artists and professionals—can come together and create their best work,” stated Avid Chairman, President and CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. “Our comprehensive global ecosystem delivers on this promise, making it possible for content creators to tell their stories and connect to the world’s widest network of artists, film studios, broadcasters, and media organizations.” Pro Tools | First – Join the Avid community for free Opening music production to everyone, Avid introduced Pro Tools | First, offering artists, audio enthusiasts, and aspiring pros access to many of the same music creation tools used by top professionals and facilities—at no cost. Simple enough for beginners to learn, yet sophisticated enough for the experienced musician, Pro Tools | First enables everyone to experience the industry’s most trusted digital audio workstation so they can turn their musical ideas into fully realized, professional productions that stand out from the crowd. Pro Tools 12 - Flexible licensing options Avid announced Pro Tools 12 giving professionals more choice over how they purchase and deploy their tools, collaborate with others, and get more exposure for their work. Customers can now subscribe for as little as $29.99 per month, or buy Pro Tools software outright. With these new options, users can stay current with future software updates and innovations as soon as they are released via the cloud, at no additional charge. Avid Cloud Collaboration — The world is your studio Avid Cloud Collaboration, initially to be accessed by Pro Tools users with others to follow, is a groundbreaking set of collaboration capabilities that enable artists to compose, record, edit, and mix sessions working with other Pro Tools users in the cloud, as if they are all together in the same studio. New services in the Avid Marketplace The Avid Marketplace allows Pro Tools users to engage in a community of artists, acquire new plug-ins and apps as they need them, easily store their work securely in the cloud, and post their finished assets or Pro Tools session files for others to license in their productions. Sibelius | Cloud Publishing Underscoring Avid’s commitment to the music notation market, Sibelius | Cloud Publishing is a groundbreaking new publishing technology that revolutionizes the way sheet music scores are sold online. With a Sibelius | Cloud Publishing-enabled site, publishers can allow customers to view, play, transpose, print, and purchase scores using any current web browser or mobile device, including Android, iOS, and Linux.

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Avid Releases New Version of Media Composer Bringing Resolution Independence to Film and Television Production

Avid® announces the availability of the latest version of Avid Media Composer® | Software, which allows video professionals to acquire, manage, edit, and deliver native 4K and other high-res media faster and more efficiently than ever. Leveraging the new Avid Resolution Independence architecture and Avid DNxHR™ encoding, Media Composer offers the most complete and flexible end-to-end workflow for file-based editing of any resolution. This new release helps content creators deliver higher quality content in more collaborative, powerful, and efficient ways – a key part of Avid Everywhere™. Leveraging the Avid MediaCentral Platform, Media Composer is part of the Avid Artist Suite of industry-standard creative tools. Avid Resolution Independence provides a holistic, platform-centric approach that puts no limits to the resolutions customers can capture, edit, and output. Media professionals can work with the broadest variety of media in every resolution – SD, HD, 4K and beyond – using their existing infrastructure. Media Composer is the first Avid product to support Resolution Independence, with support for more products and solutions across the MediaCentral Platform coming soon. At the center of the Avid Resolution Independence architecture is Avid DNxHR, a new extensible media codec that makes it possible to edit and deliver high-res content within HD-capable infrastructures. Offering greater beauty without the bandwidth, DNxHR scales from lightweight proxies to mastering-quality high-resolution media. Other new capabilities in the latest version of Media Composer include enhanced color management, high frame rate support, high-efficiency proxy workflows, and timesaving background rendering of high-resolution media. Media Composer | Software gives editors at post production facilities, broadcasters, production companies and more, the tools, workflows, and options needed for professional film, television, video, and news creation. The new version of Media Composer | Software is available now through Videocraft so please call your local Post Production Specialist Melbourne (03) 9888 8511 Sydney (02) 9436 3050    

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Videocraft brings OB to MotoGP

With a history of delivering the very best that MotoGP has to offer, the 2014 Tissot Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix pushed excitement levels to the limit. The on track broadcast for this year’s Phillip Island event was again managed by Axis Films who for the first time used Videocraft’s new Mobile Production Centre for their big screen coverage. Axis Films owner Tim Maloney explained, “This year we moved from our usual site shed set up to using the Videocraft truck and it was a resounding success. Videocraft provided a significant amount of equipment whilst easily integrating our existing equipment which was a huge plus.” Videocraft provided full OB production facilities for the three day MotoGP event, many of which were a first for the production. Maloney continued, “Videocraft did a great job. By using the truck as a hub they tied together all the internal and external facilities. They also provided all the comms and audio between all stakeholders some of whom were over half a kilometre away, integrated an EVS system and hooked an edit suite into the EVS. All the connectivity to remote locations was fibre based which provided us with the added bonus of quicker rig and de-rig times and better quality audio which was crystal clear and completely hum free. In fact Dorna Sports SL, the Spanish production company, said it was the best in circuit audio of any MotoGP event.” Videocraft also integrated Axis Films’ Tricaster system and supplied the latest RTS Telex ADAM-M intercom system which along with Dante media networking provided the IP-based comms and audio. Alongside these was a Yamaha CL1 audio desk. Maloney added, “There were so many good things about this OB truck and the facilities Videocraft provided. Their audio setup gave us great flexibility and made it easy to create custom audio mixes. The fact that it was all digital also preserved the audio quality irrespective of distance or location. They also used an excellent Lawo VPro8 audio video processor which allowed us to easily marry any audio into the video signals and back out again.” Being responsible for MotoGP Big Screen coverage is a very big responsibility with many challenges, which according to Maloney is why he was very careful in his choice of OB truck and provider. He added, “I’ve watched Videocraft MD James Taylor build that truck over the last six months and I’ve been very impressed. He has chosen the best equipment available and critically made sure it turned up ready, configured and able to cope with anything we threw at it. The fact that the truck is fibre and IP-based is a big bonus. We use MediorNet Fibre Backbone which James, like all the other parts of the puzzle such as MADI and Lawo, had no problem integrating and overall the truck and its interconnectivity capabilities are very impressive. For MotoGP we have many varied signals that have to be sent to many people and we have to interface with Dorna Sports. This takes much knowledge and expertise, all of which come in bundles with Videocraft and their truck. Dorna have very specific, unique audio embedding requirements which, again, were no problem for Videocraft. In addition we have to meet the incredibly high quality standards set down by the Australian GP Corporation so only the very best will do.” As far as Tim Maloney is concerned not only did he choose the right truck and equipment partner but the whole experience raised the bar again in terms of production values. Maloney concluded, “James Taylor treats every job like it’s his own. He quite clearly cares more about providing the best solution for his clients than anything else. This is rare in this industry and I commend him highly for his approach. MotoGP is the biggest job of the year for Axis Films and as a result of the success of this year’s event I have already booked Videocraft and their OB truck for next year. I can honestly say we now have exactly what we need, a luxurious production environment in a state of the art OB truck that makes the entire production smooth, seamless and look great.” For more on Axis Films go to: http://www.axisfilms.com.au For more on the Australian MotoGP go to: http://www.motogp.com.au

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Videocraft Review of the Sony LAFZB1 Adapter

by Michael Curwood

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#NAB2014 Products to Watch - Live Production

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#NAB2014 Blackmagic Lowers Cost Of Entry To Cinema And Broadcast Production

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