instant moviemaker

As a freelance photographer/videographer you cover a wide variety of work, from easy to shoot stage productions, corporate videos, stock library footage/stills, DVD production,  etc., through to something more exciting, such as travelling to exotic places.

One such project came out of the blue, On a cold November morning I received a phone call from a client I had never had any contact with before. Would I like to go to Kenya to produce a promotional DVD for Africa House Safaris? The project would start at the beginning of December and run through to 22 December. Needless to say, I didn’t have to think too hard about accepting this offer.

We started filming within one hour of landing at Nairobi, this is one of the few times that I have relied on the cameras autofocus, my eyes were too jet lagged to be of any real use.  The video shows the accommodation and destinations that you can expect to see when you book an Africa House Safari.

We spent a couple of days staying just outside Nairobi staying at Giraffe Manor, these clips can be seen near the end of the video. Giraffe Manor was featured in movies such as White Mischief and Out of Africa. It is a spectacular manor house and as long as you don’t mind sharing your breakfast with Giraffes, it was great fun.

The assignment involved travelling several hundreds of miles around Kenya taking in some spectacular scenery in the Rift Valley to Lake Victoria as well as the Game reserves. David Sugden the CEO of Africa House Safaris lives in Kenya and knows the locations that would be of interest to any photographer or video production crew. He also has the eyes of an eagle and can spot most wildlife within minutes of arriving at any location, a real bonus for anyone wanting to capture spectacular wildlife shots.

The video was shot over a period of 18. days using a Sony EX3 video camera, supplemented with a range of Nikon lenses from 75 to 300mm. The video was captures at Full HD 1920 x 1080 with a frame rate of 30fps, this allows for BluRay production and easy downsampling to Standard Definition DVD. The video above has been reduced in size for YouTube publishing so it may have lost some of the fine detail. I also had a Nikon D90 which I had intended to do some video footage with, but as it turned out I only used this camera to capture stills.

The Panasonic GH3 is possibly the most exciting new camera to be launched this year. The GH3 camera offers professional video capture at 1080 50p as well as high quality 16.05 megapixel stills.  Movie capture can be selected at MP4, MOV or AVCHD. We will bring you a full review of this exciting camera as soon as we can get our hands on one. Just to whet your appetite, we have embedded a short video created for Panasonic, all footage was shot with the GH3.

press release

The Panasonic LUMIX GH3: Changing professional photography and videography, wherever you are

Building on the prestige of the LUMIX GH2, new LUMIX G addition takes professional videography to the next level in a portable interchangeable lens camera

17th September, 2012 – Panasonic today launches the LUMIX GH3, its most powerful and versatile Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) interchangeable lens camera yet, featuring incredible video and picture quality in a ruggedly elegant and compact design. Offering expert control for videographers and photographers alike, the state-of-the-art LUMIX GH3 delivers crisp images and videos with a 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor combined with the incredible processing power of Venus Engine in a portable 550 grams compact body (incl. battery and SD card). With an exceptionally fast and accurate auto-focus, engineered for precision control and professional results in any situation, you’ll always capture the action with absolute detail.

Clarity and control for beautiful video quality

The new LUMIX GH3, the latest addition to Panasonic’s LUMIX G ecosystem, pushes the boundaries of video quality from an interchangeable lens camera. The LUMIX GH3’s sensor advances mean that you can take complete control of stunningly clear 1080 50p Full HD AVCHD video with a video bitrate of 28 Mbps or you can shoot MOV1 videos with 72Mbps in ALL-I.

Even in low light conditions, you can pick out all the detail to give you breath-taking cinematic quality thanks to an ISO range between ISO 200 to ISO 12800 as standard, or even between ISO 125 to ISO 25600 with an extension function.

Whether you’re filming an interview or an action sequence, multiple high-quality video file outputs – including MP4, MOV and AVCHD – mean you’ll always have the right tools for the task at hand to quickly and conveniently transfer and edit your work. In addition, the all indexed video option without compression means you’ll never need to compromise.

Full-time AF, AF Tracking and Face Recognition AF are all available in video mode, allowing you to ensure the focus stays on a subject or face, even if they move around.

Professional quality on the move

Ready for adventure, from filming a remote village to shooting insects under the darkness of the jungle canopy, the lightweight and compact LUMIX GH3 is weather sealed and ready to take on the challenges with you – the classically designed and easy-to-grip chassis is both splashproof and dustproof. You’ll always capture beautiful and authentic colours driven by the 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor and enhanced 3DNR (3D Noise Reduction) and MNR (Multi-process Noise Reduction).

The LUMIX GH3 features ultra-high-speed and precise Light Speed AF, making it possible to capture even the most fast-moving subject with utmost clarity and accuracy. Burst shooting – at 6 fps in full resolution and 20 fps in 4-megapixel recording – means professionals can get the perfect shot, even when they’re on the move.

The powerful and versatile LUMIX GH3 is also compatible with all the accessories you would expect. It features a sync socket for studio lighting rigs as well as a range of pro-friendly accessories including noise-reduction directional microphone for exceptionally focused sound which can easily be plugged into the 3.5mm microphone jack. For longevity and even more flexibility, the new LUMIX GH3 battery grip means you can shoot for longer and benefit from the additional weight to get you more stability when you need it. For more creative control, the LUMIX GH3 vertical grip means you can make precise changes and take the perfect shot.

See the world in a different way

Take shots no-one else can get – the lightweight design means you can comfortably carry the LUMIX GH3 anywhere and still take stunning pictures and videos. Choose how you frame shots – compose the scene with poise and precision using the high resolution 614k pixel 3.0-inch free-angle OLED screen, or use the 1,744K OLED viewfinder for a traditional shooting experience. The LUMIX GH3’s silent shutter means you’ll never be distracted or disturb the scene, and always capture the action just as it was.

Freedom to shoot and share

Connecting you to the world, the intelligent built-in Wi-Fi integration gives you shooting freedom and unleashes a new versatility in professional photography and videography. You can collaborate with colleagues instantly as they review shots from moments ago being streamed to your office PCs with remote browsing via your smartphone or tablet. Meanwhile the LUMIX Link smartphone / tablet app for Android and iOS gives you remote control of the camera’s functions including the shutter, enabling you to take photos even when you’re not touching the camera.

Now you don’t have to worry about carrying data transfer cables with you everywhere, as you effortlessly and quickly back-up and share photos to the cloud with LUMIX CLUB Cloud Sync Service. Saving you time and effort after a long day shooting, the LUMIX GH3 can detect trusted Wi-Fi connections, such as your home network, and sync your photos and videos directly to the cloud.

Be part of the LUMIX G microsystem

Ichiro Kitao, Director Imaging Network Business Unit and head of Panasonic’s global Digital Still Camera business, says: “The LUMIX G ecosystem has constantly pushed the boundaries of innovation and the LUMIX GH3 marks another significant step forward for the industry. The range and depth of features combined with an intuitive user experience make the LUMIX GH3 a powerful and versatile tool for professionals and serious amateurs alike. Those looking for a premium interchangeable lens camera will enjoy using the LUMIX GH3. The video capture is exceptional, and pictures quality is sublime – we’re incredibly proud of the innovation in the LUMIX GH3.”

As part of the LUMIX G system, the LUMIX GH3 will provide you with access to the world’s largest range of Micro Four Thirds lenses (17) and accessories, making sure you have the right set-up to capture every moment. These include Panasonic’s new high-quality weather sealed LUMIX G X series 12-35mm and 35-100mm lenses, offering pinpoint sharpness and F2.8 brightness throughout the zoom ranges, with a premium and rugged design. Available in the UK from November.

LUMIX GH3: Key Features

  • Outstanding quality from a DSLM: With a new 16.05-megapixel Live MOS sensor; the Venus Engine image processor; and high sensitivity image recording even at ISO 12800 or ISO 25600 in extended mode, the LUMIX GH3 delivers incredible video and photo quality, even in low-light situations
  • Adaptable and always ready: Weighing just 550 grams (incl. battery and SD card), the lightweight design means the LUMIX GH3 is highly portable, and the enhanced auto-focus captures action as it unfolds
  • Versatile and flexible: The LUMIX GH3 offers 1080 50p Full HD recording in a range of video file formats, with all footage indexed to give you complete control over editing without compromising on quality
  • Powerful and easy to use: The LUMIX GH3 features a redesigned and intuitive user interface, making it easier than ever to push your own creativity to new levels and shoot sublime pictures and video. It also provides easy sharing and transferring of content thanks to its built in WIFI functionality
  • Stylish yet robust: The sophisticated design of the LUMIX GH3 complements the advanced technology, and is weather sealed so it is always ready for adventure. The LUMIX GH3 offers beautiful craftsmanship without compromising on utility, with a bright and vivid 3.0 inch OLED screen and sockets for professional grade equipment

 

 

 

Canon expands its contribution to cinematic culture with the introduction of the new EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera and the EOS C100 Digital Video Camera. The C500 will take its place as the flagship camera model in Canon’s Cinema EOS System while the C100 provides another option for beginning filmmakers working on a budget. The C500 is Canon’s high-end professional 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) cinema camera capable of originating uncompressed RAW output for external recording to meet the demands of premium cinematic productions and other top-quality production markets. The C100 digital video camera is a compact, affordable entry-level model delivering full 1920×1080 HD video and integrating the popular AVCHD codec for universal compatibility with laptop and desktop editing systems. The C500 will be available in both EF- and PL-mount versions; while the C100 will be offered in EF mount only and will be compatible with the more than 70 zoom and prime lenses in Canon’s EF, EF-S and EF Cinema lens line ups.

The EOS C500 4K digital cinema camera and EOS C100 digital video camera join Canon’s Cinema EOS System which includes two other camera models, the EOS C300 digital cinema camera for mainstream HD production and the EOS-1D C 4K Digital SLR cinema camera for 4K and HD filmmakers favoring the SLR form factor. The Cinema EOS System also offers filmmakers optical diversity with seven EF Cinema lens models: the compact and lightweight CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L wide-angle cinema zoom and the CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L telephoto cinema zoom (available in EF and PL versions); the CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L wide-angle zoom and CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L telephoto zoom (also available in EF and PL versions); and the CN-E24mm T1.5 L, CN-E50mm T1.3 L, and CN-E85mm T1.3 L prime lenses for EF-mount cameras, in addition to the more than 60 lenses in Canon’s EF and EF-S lens lines (which include macro, fisheye, telephoto, and tilt-shift models).

4K, 2K, and Full HD Image Quality
The Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL digital cinema cameras are designed to provide a versatile high-quality 4K imaging solution to high-end productions. High-quality 4K resolution imaging has become the new standard for advanced effects and is particularly important for big-budget motion pictures that include scenes compositing live-action cinematography with high-resolution computer-generated imagery. The C500 and C500 PL cameras output 4K resolution to external recorders as a 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream, as well as offering the additional versatility of being able to output quad full-HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), full HD (1920 x 1080), and other imaging options. All of these digital image source formats fully conform to established SMPTE production standards. All 4K formats can be selected to operate from one to 60 frames per second. When shooting in 2K, the C500 and C500 PL cameras employ a 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal format from one to 60 frames-per-second (fps) as well. For high-speed shooting and slow motion capture the cameras can be set to a 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2 mode, and can output 4K or 2K video up to 120 fps.

While outputting 4K or 2K video to an external recorder, the Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL digital cinema cameras simultaneously record a 50 Mbps Full HD video file in-camera to the user’s choice of one or two CF cards. The 8-bit 4:2:2 in-camera recordings can be used as a proxy for offline editing of 4K projects, and they are also suitable for various projects that do not require 4K resolution. Equipped with Canon’s exceptional Super 35mm 8.85-megapixel CMOS sensor, both C500 camera models are compatible with a wide range of interchangeable Canon lenses – the C500 is compatible with EF, EF-S and EF Cinema lenses for Canon SLR cameras, while the C500 PL is compatible with PL-mount EF Cinema lenses and other PL-mount lenses. Highly mobile and compact, the C500 digital cinema camera provides the same ergonomic features as the C300 model, with the exception of a fixed hand grip that incorporates a pair of 3G-SDI ports for 4K video output and another pair of video ports for monitoring purposes. Canon is working with several independent manufacturers of external video recorders to support smooth workflow options, and these recorders are expected to be available by the time the EOS C500 and C500 PL 4K digital cinema cameras ship to authorized dealers later this year.

Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS C500 and C500 PL 4K Digital Cinema Cameras are scheduled to be available in October for an estimated list price of $30,000. The Canon EOS C100 Digital Video Camera is scheduled to be available in November 2012 for an estimated list price of $7,999.

 

an intro to Corel VideoStudio X5

Welcome to the first of our new series of video tutorials where, over the next few weeks, we will be showing you how to edit video and put together a short video production. The series will cover every stage from importing  movie clips, editing, applying colour corrections, special effects (FX), adding titles and music. If you are new to video, whether you’re shooting with an HDSLR or camcorder, there will be plenty of information to help you get started. Finally we will show you how to  upload your movie to YouTube or social media sites and how to create a DVD .

Please feel free to post any problems that you may have, on the comments section at the bottom of each tutorial page.

 

Video at top of screen