Useful Information from VMI

Shooting with Uncoated Lenses

DoP Duncan Telford shot a Weetabix commercial with Uncoated Cooke Mini S4s and describes in this new article what it is like to shoot with uncoated lenses and how this look varies between different types of lenses

PMW-F5/F55 Version 3 Upgrade

Sony have been very busy with the release of their new version 3.0 firmware release for the F5, and F55, which brings a host of new features and new functionality for these increasingly versatile cameras. With close to 30 new features, this is a major release and increases both the marketability and perception of the Sony digital motion picture cameras for PMW-F5, F55 and AXS-R external recorders.

Shoot the best quality 200fps available using Odyssey 7Q and Sony FS 700/C500

A short article detailing the excellent slow motion capability of the Odyssey 7Q when used in conjunction with the Sony FS-700, Canon C500 and ARRI Alexa

What is the collective term for tripod tubes?

What is the collective term for tripod tubes? We think that it is a pyramid! VMI has invested in a new range of rigid tripod tubes to replace the soft bags which house our Sachtler Video 18 and Video 20 tripod fleet. They are very lightweight, yet include wheels for easy transportation and are also aeroplane friendly too but offer much greater protection and look smart too!

Shooting with HD Video lenses on large sensor cameras.

The new generation lens adapters promise the range and convenience of shooting HD ENG lenses with large sensor cameras and Ian has tried them out. Here is his article on everything that you need to know about shooting with video-style lenses on large sensor cameras.

Canon C300 Tutorials

A series of EOS C300 Tutorial Series Videos from Canon

ARRI Amira

The ARRI Amira was expected to arrive in April 2014. VMI will be one of the first to take delivery when the ARRI are ready for shipping. This is a brief introduction to the camera and its functionality.

UNCOATED lenses - what you need to know

VMI have recently and uniquely removed the coatings from a set of Zeiss distagon lenses in order to bring this very popular ‘vintage’ look into an affordable pricing sphere. We believe that this may be the first set in the world to have been uncoated and as you can see from the examples, the effect can be as dramatic or subtle as required. This article seeks to explore the effects that removing the lens coatings can have on an image

ARRI Alexa, all you need to know about the Alexa range of cameras

ARRI recently announced the introduction of a new Alexa camera series, the ‘XT’ which has a different on board recording module compared to the other established cameras in the series and will replace this range. As the Alexa range is now effectively a ‘fleet’, we at VMI feel at this stage a short précis of each camera’s parameters and functionality is appropriate in order to enable producers and production companies to target the correct package at an early stage of preparation.

The Case for 4K - Pros and Cons

An essay arguing the case for and against 4K. 1. What is 4K 2. Do we need 4K 3. When is 4K not 4K 4. Challenges of 4K acquisition 5. Viewing 4K 6. 4K delivery to end users 7. How long with penetration take

Sony FS-700 4K slow motion with RAW to 240fps/120fps

Sony's FS-700 will permit slow motion ramping in 4K and 2K to 240fps using RAW with IF5 interface and AXS-R5 external recorder (release date Summer 2013)

Producer’s guide to the pros and cons of shooting in 4K

A Producer’s guide to the pros and cons of shooting in 4K What is 4K? Why 4K? What Shoots in 4K? 4K options currently 4K External Recorders Technical difficulties The Glass Conclusion

Why are Zeiss MasterPrimes so Good?

DoPs will tell you that lenses are what really count in a quality production to influence not only the look and depth of field of the programme but how different designs of lenses can also influence close focus shooting as well. A short synopsis to explain just why MasterPrimes are so good.

The VMI Guide to Easy Streaming

It has never been so easy to stream directly to the internet from a live video source. This article will explain in easy steps the equipment and applications needed in order to arrange a live webcast and what to expect when you do this for the first time.

Video Bitrate Calculator

Video Bitrate Calculator

Low Energy Lighting

VMI are always following trends in technologies of TV production techniques and the field of lighting hire is no exception. Conventional inefficient lighting technologies use large quantities of power which are beyond the conventional 13A ring mains, so generators, bigger trucks and specialised sparks, etc are required with the inevitable effect on budget and new generation LED lights and cool lights reduce the physical size and also power requirements. VMI recognise that it you can plus all lights into 13A plugs, then this will have a dramatic effect on cost, by doing without a generator and really big truck! The BBC has already thought about this and this white paper is brought to you here for your convenience.

Types of Prores Codecs

The Apple ProRes format comes in five versions: Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes 422 (LT), and Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy). This is an overview of their specifications

Everything that you wanted to know about Large Sensor Cameras but were too afraid to ask!

There is such a selection of large screen cameras now, all promising to achieve the elusive ‘film look’, that it can be hard for film makers to make an informed choice in the selection of choosing the right combination of camera and lenses. This short article aims to illustrate the main differences between the current range of cameras in order to help you make that choice!

RED EPIC vs RED Scarlet - What you need to know!

Both are made by RED sharing the same impressive 5K Super-35 sensor but the Epic costs twice as much. This article explains the differences between them and their best environments for production

iPhone_App

The VMI app is a must have for programme makers in the UK. It is an app for creating Broadcast HD shooting packages for rental in London and allows you to download and browse the entire VMI equipment database remotely, share shooting packages with other users on iPhone and over the web and lots more!

The Aesthetics of Digital Cinema vs. Film

ACQUISITION: THE EMULATION OF THE PHYSICAL AND CREATIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF 35MM FILM IN THE DIGITAL DOMAIN. Usually at VMI, we make articles really easy for people to read but the inclusion of this essay this makes no apology for being a Master's level exploration about the aesthetic merit of film vs digital cinema! This essay is reproduced here by permission from VMI's own Ian Jackson (Assoc. BSC) as his master's thesis for which he was graded with distinction - well done Ian!

Solid State HD Recorders

An introduction to HD Recorders, their advantages, specifications and overview. Discussion to help to decide on which HD recorder is appropriate for a given production.

DSLR Production

This article describes how modern DSLR Cameras are now a practical consideration for shooting productions with excellent results on a low budget.

Shallow Depth of Field good for streaming

A shallow Depth of Field can reduce the bandwidth requirement of video, which is good for the internet. We wanted to test this theory and this article explores this idea and concludes that you can save around 10% bandwidth by shooting with a large sensor camera compared with a small sensor camera, as the shallow depth of field means that you capture only the bits that you want in fine detail and as background is defocused.

Non-linear workflows

All modern cameras shoot on removeable media these days and you need to be prepared to adopt best practise for acquisition, data workflow and post production to get the most of your programme, whilst maintaining media security.

Useful RED Links

RED Links and Resources VMI RED Equipment for rental VMI RED DIT Training Coursese OFFICIAL RED CAMERA USER FORUM DISCUSSION OF REDCODE COMPRESSION AND ARTIFACTS REDCODE 28 vs 36 4K 16:9 vs 4K 2:1 vs 4K HD DATA TRANSFER WITH AND WITHOUT CHECKSUMS MONITOR OUT COLOUR INACCURACIES CAMERA WON'T RECOGNISE DRIVE HDMI MONITORING STROBING WHEN PANNING

P2 and AVCCAM Links

P2 and AVCCAM contents manager software and drivers.

H.264 and Why is AVC Intra is so good!

Panasonic's AVC Intra codec works with the Panasonic HPX250, HPX-3000, HPX-3100, HPX-2700 and HPX-3700 and the quality compares with the Panavision Genesis and HDCAM SR, which makes it the best format for chroma key around – this explains why

RED M-X Guide

A no-nonsense guide to using the fab new RED One Camera

Useful RED Information

Useful RED Information 1. Role of the D.I.T 2. IR and RED 3. Good Red Practice 4. Troubleshooting/Bugs

The Film Look on a Budget

How modern 35mm adapters have enabled a new range of 35mm optics to be used on popular consumer and prosumer camcorders to very good effect.

HD and Film Lenses

An outline guide to HD and film lenses

VMI Guide to Tapeless Acquisition & Workflow

HD Tapeless Workflow Seminar presented by VMI Managing Director, Barry Bassett at the London Broadcast and Video Expo Thursday 19 Feb 2009.

Choosing a Digital Format

Helping you to choose a digital format – completely revised Dec 08

DVCPro HD

Outline of the popular DVCPro HD format and HDX-900 Camera

Whether to use P2 or not over XDCAM HD

FAQ from clients about using P2: I have to say, that on shoots where we don't have a data wrangler (all of them), I've found working with XDCAM discs infinitely better than p2 cards. Offloading several 100mbs p2 cards at the end of the shoot has added sometimes 3hrs to the day. We need to find a better workflow! I understand this BUT it is different now. This is because P2 is traditionally 100Mb/second but shooting on AVC Intra 50Mb/s is the same data size as XDCAM HD ((50Mb/second), so the data is the same size. Modern transfer tools such as Nexto DI http://vmi.tv/equipment/8/accessories/512/nexto-di-nvs-2525-standard-video-storage-pro-hard-diskarchive-unit , work at eSATA speeds and take all of the pain out of the transfer. You won't suffer any of the problems of close focus of the XF-305 and you won't need an external recorder either. The BBC's passing of the HPX-250 will make an easier camera available and the new data workflow makes it practical too!

P2: Everything you ever wanted to know about P2… but were too afraid to ask!

Everything you ever wanted to know about P2… but were too afraid to ask!

HDCAM

Outline of the popular HDCAM format and camera range

XDCAM-HD

XDCAM HD Camera System and file-based workflow

XDCAM-EX, what you really need to know!

Everything that you need to know about Sony's new file-based memory stick format to compete with Panasonic's P2 format

XDCAM Useful Links

Sony XDCAM-EX Software Drivers and Browsers for Mac and PC (all models)

How Infrared light affects Cinematography

Infrared cinematography opens up a whole new spectrum of light not visible to the unaided eye. This has the potential to give otherwise ordinary scenes a surreal and dream-like appearance and can really affect the look of the images. In this article by RED.com, several of the unique applications and technical hurdles are explored.


Useful Downloads

XDCAM HD and XDCAM EX post workflow using AVID (pdf)

Tapeless Acquisition Seminar 19 Feb 09 (pdf)
as given by VMI MD Barry Bassett at the Broadcast Live Expo.

VMI are proud sponsors of:

The British Society of Cinematographers The Guild of Television Cameramen The Guild of British Camera Technicians The Association of Camera Operators ASPEC - Association of Studio and Production Equipment Companies Cinematography Mailing List Xhire - Anri fraud network