NAB is coming, so it’s new camera announcement time! Sony PMW100 XDCAM

April 3, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off on NAB is coming, so it’s new camera announcement time! Sony PMW100 XDCAM 

The camera announcements are starting to spread like wildfire as the NAB convention in Las Vegas approaches.  Yesterday we heard about Sony’s new FS700 camera which improves on their already-popular FS100 indie film camera.

Late last night, news from Sony on their new mini XDCAM PMW100 hit their Facebook page.  This is a really exciting journalist’s camera.

UPDATE:  Got to see this camera at the Sony booth at NAB.  It’s much larger than it looks in the handout photos and is quite wide, so even though its smaller than an EX1, the packed for travel size is going to be about the same.  Quite a bit bigger than a Canon XF100.  However, it is lighter than an EX1 and easier to hand-hold.

It’s tiny, has a 10x zoom, full broadcast codec with HDSDI, genlock and timecode, uses SXS or SD cards, manual controls, xlr’s, and there’s even a firewire port on the back (and it will shoot in DVCAM, so maybe it’s even possible to livestream off it, but details are scant at the moment.)

This is a direct competitor to the JVC HM150 and Canon XF105 cameras.  Supposed to be available in May at a list price of $4500.




Sony XDCAM PMW100 rear view

Sony XDCAM PMW100 rear view




Here’s the press release:

PARK RIDGE, N.J., April 3, 2012 — Sony is introducing the full-featured yet light and compact PMW-100 handheld camcorder. The new PMW-100 joins Sony’s XDCAM HD422 line-up as the smallest and lightest camera in the XDCAM family.

“Advancements in digital imaging technology have enabled journalists and professional videographers to cover stories by using portable devices such as cell phones, DSLRs, and consumer camcorders,” said Tatsuro Kurachi, senior manager, Professional Solutions of America, Sony Electronics. “However, when compared to traditional shoulder-mount camcorders, there is still a significant gap in image quality, ease of editing, and data management. The PMW-100 achieves the best of both worlds, by recording full broadcast quality MPEG HD422 video within a hand-held form factor.”

Equipped with a newly developed 1/2.9-inch “Exmor” CMOS sensor, the camcorder delivers excellent picture performance and also achieves minimum illumination of 0.08lx. Featuring a 5.4-54mm (40-400mm in 35mm equivalent) zoom lens, the versatile PMW-100 allows users to work in virtually any production environment where mobility and flexibility is critical.

The PMW-100 combines exceptional picture fidelity with portability and outstanding manoeuvrability based on the proven XDCAM workflow, giving professional users a new level of productivity. The development of the PMW-100 is a natural step in the progression of the XDCAM line, and its development is in direct response to customer feedback for a light and compact camera that will not only perform well on its own, but also alongside other XDCAM cameras such as Sony’s PMW-500.

The PMW-100 supports full HD video at 1080i, 1080p and 720p up to 50 Mbps MXF record and playback based on the MPEG HD422 codec using the standard MPEG HD422 Long GOP compression technology. It is also switchable to MPEG HD420 35/25Mbps or even DVCAM 25Mbps recording, which similar options in the market do not offer. The PMW-100 can also record high quality 24-bit four-channel audio at uncompressed 48kHz, ideal for pairing with the new optional ECM-MS2 stereo microphone.

The camcorder offers a high level of flexibility using a variety of recording media including high speed SxS PRO memory card as well as Memory Stick, SD cards and XQD cards as an “emergency” secondary media. The new application software “SxS Memory Card Management Utility”* will provide additional operational convenience with SxS memory cards, such as data back-up functions and the life time indication of the card in use.

Focusing on a subject and reviewing recorded footage is simplified with the camcorder’s full color 3.5-inch WVGA (852×480) LCD, a much higher resolution than those found in other small handheld camcorders.  The Slow & Quick Motion function lets users create artistic fast and slow-motion footage from 1 fps to 60 fps in 720p mode and from 1 fps to 30 fps in 1080p mode.

The camera also incorporates HD/SD-SDI output, Composite Out, Genlock input, time code in/out, i.LINK (HDV/DV) in/out, and A/V Out.

The PMW-100 XDCAM camcorder is planned to be available in May, with a suggested list price of $4,500.


* “SxS Memory Card Management Utility” will also be available via download in May.”




Inspiration: “Sunshine” by Doug Nichol

March 25, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized · 5 Comments 

Sunshine from American Buffalo on Vimeo.

UPDATE:  OOPS, they’ve taken it down.  Note in comments suggests agency wasn’t happy about it.

Every once in a while I come across something on Vimeo that blows me away.  This short doc by Doug Nichol is one of them.  “Sunshine” looks at the conflicted life of an American advertising producer who is filming fast food ads in China to sell to the Chinese.   Watch it.  Every shot is great and the timing and pace of the dialog is well done.

According to Wikipedia and IMDb entries, Nichol is a Grammy-winning music video producer and an experienced commercial cinematographer.

Craft helps tell stories.  Take a look at this for some serious inspiration.


Video editing in the cloud – edit via YouTube

June 16, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off on Video editing in the cloud – edit via YouTube 

This is really interesting as a way of doing collaborative video:  YouTube now lets you edit video online.  Some info on it from Google here.

Some more from NewTeeVee here, including some links to other online editing sites.

UPDATE: Speaking of editing in the cloud, ‘participatory video’ site Stroome today won a $200k Knight News Challenge grant. The site is a mash-up video site with online editing, where you can upload clips and use others’ clips to create new videos. Seems like very few news sites would participate, what with the giving-up-all-rights issue and the non-commercial use clause in the terms.

Promise vs. Reality on the iPad

June 12, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off on Promise vs. Reality on the iPad 

VIV Mag Interactive Feature Spread – iPad Demo from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

Before the iPad came out we were promised extraordinary innovation in publishing on the new device. This preview of Viv Magazine is, indeed, extraordinary. But if you go to on an iPad today, months after the new Apple toy hit the streets, what do you get? Nothing. The current issues display in Flash, which, of course, the iPad won’t display. No app to be found, either.

It takes a lot of talent and time to produce compelling content like this and the economics of publishing aren’t in favor of it.

I still hope for the best. Although the AP news app is terrible, the USA Today one is ok.   The New York Times ‘Editors Choice’ app has been updated and just recently added video and it looks great!  And although they aren’t publishers, Vimeo plays video full screen in html5 on the iPad and it’s really nice.

Old news from here on back! Stroll down memory lane….

May 31, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off on Old news from here on back! Stroll down memory lane…. 

Way back in 2008 I started a community site on Ning and abandoned my Blogger site,, which dated back even farther.   Now Ning is cutting off the free sites so I have created yet another site:  Just to have some content, I have imported my old Blogspot entries here and am importing posts from as well.  Everything past here is old news!  Really old!

FCC bans wireless mics in 700mhz range

August 23, 2008 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off on FCC bans wireless mics in 700mhz range 

A Broadcasting & Cable story notes that “The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to prohibit the use of wireless microphones and other devices in the 700-megahertz band after the transition to digital.”

A Washington Post story says that the FCC is going to crack down on wireless mics used by churches and karaoke bars, as well as ban wireless mics in the recently sold spectrum.

“The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a ban on certain types of wireless microphones and has begun an investigation into how the industry markets its products,” the story says.

I am very unclear on what all this means to existing mics, but it looks like some frequency ranges of wireless mics may be in trouble (particularly the Sennheiser block “c” mics and others in the 700mhz range — guess which ones we use?) and they definitely won’t be sold anymore.

Florida Today LIVE from the center of the storm

August 20, 2008 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off on Florida Today LIVE from the center of the storm 

Florida Today, a 94,000-circulation Gannett paper in Brevard County, has been streaming live video from crews driving out in the middle of some of the worst flooding from tropical storm Fay. They’ve had a live video player from on their web front for three days showing the rain and flooding. Wednesday afternoon, they had two crews out in the thick of it and were able to switch between the two cameras, making it a much better experience than when I first saw it with only one camera.

Florida Today’s Tom Kehoe, director of staff development, tells how they did it:

“This is real low tech. We’re using MacBook pros with 2GB of memory and the Sprint Novatel U720 usb EVDO cards. We attach the cards with a usb cable and get the best reception by wedging the card up under the sun visor. The camera we’re using is the Sony HVR A1U, and we connect by firewire.. We shoot in 16×9. We mount the camera using an old Video Innovators dash mount, which has suction cups that attach to the windshield and a brace that goes to the floor. We put a cushion under the brace to help soften the bumps. We stream it all through a web service called Mogulus.

The first time we tried it was on Tuesday, as Tropical Storm Fay was blowing in. This was supposed to be a minor storm with low winds that would dissipate quickly. But it stalled over top of us and just grew stronger and stronger. When we sent out our video stream team, we weren’t sure how long we could keep it going, or how the public would respond. We ended up keeping it going for more than five hours, and viewership built steadily until we had about 1,500 viewers – and it stayed at that level for hours. Our two person-crew was Chris Kridler and Tim Walters. Both are converged journalists – they can do print as well and video — and Chris is an avid storm chaser, who has tracked tornados around the midwest for years. That experience really helped.

They toured the county and simply described what they saw, as if they were talking directly to the viewers. They panned and zoomed to show trouble spots and generally give Brevard County viewers a look at what the rain was doing to their neighbors. We pulled them in as it got dark, and before the worst of the storm hit. It was so effective that we ramped it up the following morning, with the tail end of Tropical Storm Fay still sitting on top of us. By this time, Brevard had three days of rain: Rain that came down in sheets so thick that visibility was practically zero. Flood waters were rising all over the county. When you live in Florida you expect the occasional flood, but no one was ready for anything like this. Homes were being breached in towns scattered all over Brevard. Entire neighborhoods were cut off, folks were stuck in their homes, unable to leave.

By afternoon, with rain still falling, we had put two video stream teams out. Using Mogulus, we switched from one to the other, depending on which crew had the most dramatic footage. We used a lower-third label to alert readers to the location of the crew, and then posted my email address and an invitation for viewers to tell us where they wanted us to send our units. Within minutes, we had two dozen emails, some from folks on the other side of the country worrying about their homes. Viewership went over 2,000. Technical problems were constant – loss of audio or video, and occasionally of cellphone service. We directed the teams using cellphones and text messages. The teams were alternately talking with us, a TV station and the viewers themselves.

And while the flooding made for great video, it also made for dangerous reporting conditions. Many of the roads they were traveling were so flooded that just staying on the road was major concern. You often couldn’t tell if you were about to drive into water that a foot deep, or a yard deep. Some of the highlights of that coverage: Police rescuing a couple of kids kayaking who got into trouble because of the intense currents in the flood waters; several accidents; residents trying to cope with flooded homes; and a couple of characters who were surfing the violent currents in a storm swale.

During those first two days we produced more than 13 hours of streaming video, and we’ll be doing it again tomorrow.”

Here’s some of their live footage, edited down:

What do you expect? It’s internet video….

August 16, 2008 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off on What do you expect? It’s internet video…. 

More video ads in our future…. if we produce content professionally.

August 15, 2008 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off on More video ads in our future…. if we produce content professionally. 

In a press release, eMarketer says online video ad spending will be $505 Million this year, down from their original estimate of $1.4 Billion. The new number, they say, represents a 55.9% increase from 2007.

The $505 Million is 2% of total internet ad spending, they say.

They also claim that 129.5 million people will see online video advertising at least once a month.

From the release:

“The majority of video consumed online today is clips rather full-length TV episodes or movies. The most popular online video content, watched by more than 40% of the US online video audience, is clips of 5 minutes or less. They consist of news, jokes, movie trailers, music videos and TV shows.

“Even as video becomes the great growth area for Internet advertising, there’s a major disconnect between the amount of time people spend with short-form video, especially user-generated, and the ad dollars that accompany such video content,” says eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman. “However, as media companies change their business model, putting more and more professionally created video content online, the audience—and related ad dollars—will increase dramatically.”

(Take it for what it’s worth. Near as I can tell, eMarketer is an aggregator of different research firms and doesn’t do any research itself.)

No live truck? How about a motorcycle?

August 14, 2008 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off on No live truck? How about a motorcycle? 

From a Link Research press release (they’re from the U.K.)

Link Research is showing a Newsgathering Motorcycle system, a new concept designed to provide news teams with the fastest possible response to breaking news stories.

Used in conjunction with Link’s city centre cellular receive system, the bike can be deployed instantly, giving live pictures from its on-board cameras as soon as it leaves the garage.

In today’s congested urban areas, it can beat the traffic and arrive on-site often before the police have closed the area.

There are none of the parking issues which can slow down camera crews and SNG vehicles, even when they have arrived at the scene.

Once on site, the bike can continue to provide live video and sound from its on-board cameras, or it can instantly deploy a radio camera (carried in the pannier) which links back to the bike, allowing the operator to get as close as possible to the action, and even take the camera inside buildings.

Features include full audio and video monitoring, 4W RF output for minimum 6Km range and automatically switched external video/audio input (for tape feeds etc). The system will power from the bike alternator or two detachable camera batteries (run time approx 1hr 30mins) which means that the bike can be left running inside a police cordon to provide vital coverage until the SNG/TNG vehicles are in place.

Other uses for the News Bike are: quick live 2-ways into news bulletins and as a repeater system for wireless cameras. The bike can often park where cars and trucks cannot and can link a camera from inside a building (press conference etc) back to base. It can also relay to helicopters or become a helicopter receive point.

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  • Filthy Lucre: I don’t control what ads run here… caveat emptor