Celebrating the New Video Unit with Panasonic !

Today I am celebrating the arrival of the new video unit to once again, start up video production in the Loch Leven area!  Last year after selling all my Canon video camera kit which used the miniDV digital tape format, I wasn’t sure where to go from there.  I spent over a year pondering this, wandering the video desert in search of enlightenment.

I still had my Canon 7D DSLR and although this camera is very capable of shooting video – it is still very much oriented to shooting still photos first, and video second.  For a start, there was no input jack for headphones to monitor sound while recording video.

Alas, the 7D was now considered to be an ‘older’ camera and I felt it was time to upgrade and keep up with the new technology of 4K cameras.  I decided that I really like being a ‘Hybrid Shooter’ I like using a camera that can take great stills and shoot great video too.

After spending many long nights going into the early mornings, I reviewed youtube video after video, trying to decipher which type of camera to buy and then what brand.

At first I was going to go for a traditional camcorder, but then viewed some videos entitled ‘the death of the Camcorder!!’  I wanted to invest in a camera that had a future, and I wanted to keep up with that future, never allowing myself to ever fall behind again.

I put my 7D on the tripod and started doing some trial vlogging videos and realised that I really liked the look of the 7D as a camera.  After visiting Calumet store in Edinburgh, the saleswoman advised me to upgrade to the Panasonic range of hybrid cameras.  While in the store I looked at a number of brands including Sony, Panasonic, and Canon.  I decided I wanted another Canon – the new 5D mark iv.  My mind was made up, although I knew the mark iv would cost a lot of money.  Perhaps I would wait another year until it came down in price.  Perhaps I would just keep the 7D.

That night I watched even more youtube reviews on the Panasonic range and realised that the saleswoman was right – Panasonic’s range was indeed more Video oriented than the competitor’s.  Suddenly I realised that the Panasonic was the camera for me after all!  I was so excited.

I am now the proud owner of a new Panasonic 4K camera and can’t wait to try it out.  It’s certainly lighter than the Canon 7D and has all the video functions a film maker could want.

Interestingly, I first used Panasonic’s video cameras back in the 90’s when SVHS was the analogue format used by wedding and corporate videographers.  So it gave me a warm feeling to make the switch from Canon to Panasonic for a change.

I look forward to testing out the new camera and producing some fantastic videos for clients in the future.

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Happy New Year 2018 !

Happy New Year everyone!!  This new year I am excited as I have now found a new supplier of media production equipment – Calumet of Edinburgh.  I intend to visit Calumet shortly to invest in new lighting and sound recording to help improve the quality of productions for the coming new year.

Also I will be looking forward to networking in Edinburgh, Perth and Stirling to make new contacts and new clients who may be looking for a video production company to provide customer testimonial web video services!

More news to follow folks!

Out with the Old and in with the New

It’s been a long long while since I last blogged.  I’ve spent many a month meditating on which direction to proceed in.  With my last video camera becoming a tad obsolete I decided to sell it lock stock and barrel, leaving me with only my trustee Canon 7D camera kit.    I wandered the desert, still pondering for about a year before I recently came up with the decision to get back into producing more web video content.

So I face a new precipice and am excited about what the future may hold!   I intend to start the new year by investing in new sound recording and lighting equipment, improving the quality of video productions in future.

I am also looking at the possibility of combining my passion for scuba diving with film making, hence my researching of the latest GoPro action camera kit.

So, I will now have to find a suitable supplier to get the ball rolling……more to follow folks!

Big Country Plays Kinross Saturday 21st November

Next weekend I will be a volunteer Photographer for the Kinross Local Events Organisation, helping to shoot some music events that are part of the 2015 Kinross Winter Festival.

On Friday evening at the Campus venue the Kinross Got Talent Show opens and I’ll be pleased to take photos of the event as last year.

On Saturday 21st, I’ll be excited to photograph a band I would listen to while still at school in the 80’s – Big Country.

Photos will all be sent to KLEO first for publication in the newsletter and on Facebook.  More news to follow folks.

Travelog Videos

This evening I was pleased to receive an unexpected call from one of my long term repeater clients – a man who likes to travel abroad every year to a new and exotic location, while his assistants record their adventures with a camcorder.  I usually get the job of editing the footage into a DVD so my client can screen his adventures to friends and family.  I haven’t heard from my client for a few years now, and was concerned.  However, I was glad to hear from him and am looking forward to producing a travelog video on – this time – the Greek Islands.   It is interesting that jobs come in for me when I least expect it.   I feel that if you provide a good service and charge a reasonable amount for the quality of your work, customers may come back, time and time again – and it’s a great feeling to know you have customer loyalty.  More updates to follow folks.

Farewell XHA1 !

camera light5
Canon XHA1 Professional Camcorder

Sorry folks, I have not been blogging for some weeks now – I was worried I might not remember how to use wordpress! Fortunately, it’s all starting to come back to me.  I have been distracted with work commitments.  Well, I made the decision that it was high time that I sold my Canon XHA1 camcorder.  After 8 years it had served me well.  This model is a tape camera and with the advent of the new Final Cut Pro X editing software (and the end of DVD production for me!!),  I felt that it was time to stick with using tapeless workflows.  The camera went to a good home along with the Sennheiser Radio Mic kit.  I intend to continue with my Scuba Diver training with a view to adapting my SLR camera kit for underwater image capture applications.  However, training will take a year or two yet, so I would like to concentrate on helping people develop websites and focus on still image capture.  I also want to spend time developing motion graphics and get back into working on some story telling media projects that have gone by the wayside.   Now that I use FCPX, I may have to re edit the story telling projects, as they were originally edited with the old version of FCP.  The only constant thing in life is change, and I feel change is good.  I have rid myself of my old diving dry suit and exchanged it for a fantastic new semi dry – my diving has improved already with new kit.  So who knows where the wonderful ever changing world of Communications will take me next.  It’s the end of an old era and on with the new – updates to follow folks.

Promotional Book Film

It looks like the promotional film I’ve mentioned in a previous blog will be going ahead, however, I won’t need to do any actual shooting.  An Edinburgh author who contacted me earlier in the year has decided that pre recorded moving and still imagery with music track will be edited into the final piece.  I am quite relieved at this as the original plan was to shoot some open water scenes in a loch, requiring organising actors and hoping that the weather will be dry.  So if I can carry out this project at the comfort of my computer I will be very pleased.

Business Growth

Today I had an enjoyable and very educational video shoot in the Falkirk and Bathgate areas, recording client testimonials for a business coach Ewan Menzies of Castle Strategy, whom I have known for many years in the Edinburgh Networking scene.

Today I have met some new entrepreneurs and business people that I wouldn’t have otherwise been introduced to, and have realised just chatting with Ewan en route to the locations, that I will have to change some fundamental aspects of the business I wasn’t aware of.

Business Coaching is more valuable to your business than you could possibly imagine.  Ewan is very inspiring and I hope one day to use Ewan’s services for my own production company.

Next job – get the footage edited as soon as possible.

Underwater Cameras

Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed my first dive for many months at St Catherines Loch near the west coast of Scotland.  After my diving club buddies and I descended down to 15 meters we could see an abundance of marine wild life including a purple Scorpion Fish, Crabs and even Lobsters.  As a trainee diver, taking underwater photographs is not encouraged, and I should have resisted taking out my Intova compact underwater camera.  The dive leader signalled to me not to take any photos so I tried to put my camera back into my trouser leg pocket, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to fasten the pocket shut, so I put the camera strap around my wrist.

Unfortunately when my auto dump was refusing to release air as we glided into the shallow part of a reef, I started shooting up to the surface.  Unknown to me my camera had unhinged itself from my arm and was lost for good.  In the commotion, my diving buddies had seen my camera shoot up to the surface but it was nowhere to be seen afterwards.

I searched all along the coast line to see if my camera had been washed ashore but it had gone.  So my advice to other trainee divers is – not only should you not take photos on a training dive, but leave your camera at home until you get qualified and more experience.  With more experience comes greater awareness under the water and you are less likely to lose gear which may be expensive to replace.

I have learned my lesson and won’t take another camera into the water unless I’m on a dive specifically for photography – after I’ve finished my training of course.