Camera kits

Latest Canon EF lenses increase functionality of latest 5D/C300 III/C500II cameras

Canon's autofocus technology has continued to improve and the latest dual pixel CMOS AF system is the most sophisticated ever, allowing smooth, high-performance focus tracking and face detection on the Canon C300 Mk II and C500 Mk II cameras. However, in order to take most advantage of this new functionality, the user needs to use the latest lenses as well, specifically with long focal lengths, where a very shallow depth of field is generated. VMI has taken note of this and invested in the latest version II and version III EOS zooms in order to facilitate this.

How to achieve the most from the Canon C500 Mk II

In the past, there were many occasions where we had longed for a small camera body with a full frame sensor that could easily be integrated into a workflow with professional cinema cameras. I had thought that I could always have it with me to capture those hard to get shots, or to use it as a B-Camera when the budget was tight. Surprisingly, when we first tested the C500 Mark II at VMI, we realised that it would be much more than that! This was a camera that would scale up and down with the size of the project. It is affordable enough to bring into low budget productions, but capable enough for use on higher end shoots too. A few months ago, while I was prepping for a TV series in Berlin the C500 Mark II started shipping. The series had a small budget but needed two cameras, so we decided to buy and bring my own C500 Mark II as the second camera. The director was desperate to try the new (and expensive) Alexa Mini LF and some initial tests showed that it would be unproblematic to match the C500 Mark II to it. However, days after my new camera arrived, the world went into a lockdown and I suddenly found myself with a lot of time at my hands and decided to find out more about this camera...

Ronin & MōVI Gimbals – all you need to know

This is definitely the time of the Gimbal. Ever since the incredibly stable images produced from the first MōVI 10 system went viral in 2013 from an operator doing his best to unseat the camera, the word Gimbal has entered into the vernacular of the filmmaker. Steadicams had been around for a long time but you had to have a trained operator – so if you couldn’t afford a Steadicam, then it was clear that you needed to hire a Gimbal. (You still need training to use and balance a Gimbal effectively but they are much quicker to master). This article explains the benefits and limitations of using these Gimbal systems and provides essential information if you want to use one in production and was completely revised in October 2019 to reflect the recent developments and changing production methodologies of gimbal technology.

Wireless Lens Control Systems – all you need to know

Wireless lens control systems (WLCS for short) have changed enormously over the last 10 or so years and have evolved from being a luxury option on a kit list to becoming a necessity on virtually every shoot. This article aims to explore the question of how to choose between the various systems and to introduce the range of WLCS systems which VMI arguably considers the best in their field and explain why we think that they work very well in given scenarios.

Sigma Cine Primes and Zooms - all you need to know

The full range of Sigma Cine primes and zooms have landed at VMI in EF and PL mount format. All are rated for full 4K resolution and include follow focus rings, clear focus scaling and are fully manual throughout and the build quality is first class, VMI carries the full range of Sigma Cine primes and zooms in S-35 and FF format. This article seeks to introduce the range of Sigma Cine Primes and zooms and to explain why we like them as much as we do!

VMI Guide to Film Lenses

There are two fundamental factors that impart a moving image with its character, the quality and size of the digital sensor and the lens used. Ten years ago it was the brand of film stock and the lens, or the type of recording tape and the lens. The lens is the constant-no image, still or moving, has ever been shot without one and as we ease towards the end of the second decade of the new millennia, the range and choices of lenses available to professional film makers is vast with plenty of snake oil and pitfalls to catch out the uninformed. This article will (hopefully) be a useful resource, explaining some of the most common terms, de-bugging some of the mechanical and optical principles and concluded by a comparison of the lenses VMI supply, the pros and cons along with a screen shot ‘shoot out’. The range of lenses will always be increasing and so the comparison section will be revised as we add new stock.

Filmmaker's Guide to Sensor Sizes and Lens Formats

As a cinematographer who owns lenses designed for various formats, I am often asked "will this lens work with my camera?" Or, "will this lens cover 8K?" Or, "Will this lens cover full frame." Or, "what will your full frame lenses look like on my camera's Super-35 sensor." This article will help answer to some of those questions and more.

Panasonic EVA1 now permits external 5.7K RAW record to external recorders

The Panasonic EVA1 camera installed with their updated v2.02 firmware enables external 5.7K RAW recording to certain external recorders up to 30p. Presently it works with ATOMOS inferno and will offer compatibility to Convergent Odyssey 7Q/7Q+ with a later release.

Slow Motion - What you REALLY need to know

Acclaimed Wildlife Cinematographer Mark Payne-Gill’s verdict on the Phantom VEO4K: “More efficient and more productive”, written after having used the Phantom VEO 4K to shoot Owls in April 2018, in contrast to his extensive experience using the Phantom FLEX 4K.

The difference between the Phantom FLEX 4K and Phantom VEO 4K

This is an article illustrating the differences between the Phantom FLEX 4K and Phantom VEO 4K and including essential Information about the Vision Research Phantom VEO 4K that you really need to know before your first production.

Capturing Wildlife in Super Low-light - all you need to know

Filmmakers wanting to shoot in extreme low light or even no light conditions have never had it so good. Camera technology had advanced to enable the recording of the most unbelievable images in almost total darkness. The principal beneficiaries of this are natural history filmmakers for whom capturing wildlife in its natural habitat means as little disturbance as possible. Most productions will use a specialist low-light camera as a B-camera, used for particular sequences to record unique behaviour, but the nature of much natural history filming means that kit is needed in the field for weeks or months with a consequent knock-on to the budget and this article quotes Natural History film makers' experience using both the Canon ME20 fSH and also Sony A7S Mk II to compare and contrast their capabilities to capture productions in extremely low light.

E-Mount Lenses - perfect for the Sony FX9/FS7

The Sony FX9/FS-7, FS-7 Mk II and FS5 Mk II are amongst the most popular mid-range 4K cameras around today and whilst they are compatible with either EF mount or PL mount lenses with suitable adaptors, the FS7 series cameras are fitted with a native lens mount called APS-C or E mount and it is not commonly known that lenses actually exist which can be fitted directly to these cameras without needing an adaptor. This is a shame, as there are some useful lenses available to the film maker today and this article explores the advantages of using native APS-C or E mount lenses and details the range of lenses available today.

Capturing 2:1 Anamorphic with Alexa LF and S-35 lenses

According to ARRI, shooting on S-35 in 4:3 at 2,880 x 2,880 with Alexa LF is suitable for 4K and has been cleared by Netflix as an acceptable solution. The reasons for doing this are easy – 2,880 x 2,880 has the same number of pixels as 3,840 x 2160 – try it and you will see that this is correct. Nextflix do not specify the native code, whether RAW Prores 4:4:4 etc, suffice to say that this needs to be a qualifying version of Prores, which to my knowledge is most of them This sounds great, as it means that Alexa LF can work with S-35 anamorphic lenses, which is exactly what our clients will want to do and shoot in the hallowed 4K format without compromise and without having to choose large format (or full frame) spherical lenses. So, I wanted to find out whether it might be possible to achieve this using Alexa Mini, Alexa XT open gate or other existing pre-LF variants of ARRI LF…

Netflix Approved 4K cameras

Here is a list of Netflix approved UHD cameras as of September 2018. Netflix call this the Post Technology Alliance Program

Improve Phantom VEO 4K workflow by using 10Gbit network port

Phantom VEO 4K data workflows are efficient but using the built-in 10Gbit ethernet interface of the Phantom VEO 4K offers the fastest data transfer from internal RAM to hard drive, which can be even more efficient than the workflow of the Phantom FLEX 4K.

Lens Coverage and Camera Comparison Tool

This is an excellent application written and designed by Sam Measure of CVP. Every day customers ask us a variation on this question: “Will this lens cover that sensor?” Of course, we are always happy to answer and discuss these questions in more detail, but we thought it would also be useful to create a database to quickly show how different lenses will cover a camera – or to compare coverage of different cameras using the same lens. This Lens Coverage and Camera Comparison Tool is the result, offering the following practical information in a visual format: Checking whether a lens covers a sensor format Comparing field of view for a lens on a given sensor format Comparing sensor data Accessing lens data Seeing which focal lengths to use to match a B camera to an A camera

Canon Sumire Primes - the first Canon lenses designed with character

Canon have released their new range of Sumire primes, which we like to describe as modern lenses with a 'vintage' look. This article is all about our interpretation of Canon's

Is the Canon C500 Mk II any good?

The Canon C500 Mk II may look like a C300 II but it has been completely redesigned and we think that in this configuration it becomes a fully-featured 4K camcorder with Cinema RAW Light capture and is versatile enough to be used as a Documentary, Gimbal or full Drama camera. This article illustrates the advantages which VMI believes offer the cinematographer over similar cameras.

Full Frame and S-35 - Creative and Technical Differences

Film making has always had ‘pinch points’ of innovation, some of them more successful than others and in recent history more often than not driven by the retail thrust to sell more TVs- HD, 3D etc. This is an article to explain both the factual and creative differences between S-35 and Full Frame and how this might affect you with respect to storytelling.

Sachtler Video 20s now include latest Flowtech 100 legs

VMI has replaced its entire fleet of Sachtler Video 20 tripods to the latest Sachtler Video 20S1 heads with the newly designed Sachtler Flowtech 100 legs, since they are faster to setup, are lighter, easier to carry and offer greater stability. This article explains why.

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, several of the unique applications and technical hurdles are explored.

2016 revised IATA Guidelines on air transport of Lithium-ion batteries

IATA Guidelines and FAQs on carrying batteries on aeroplanes Batteries Carried by Airline Passengers. ***updated July 2016 The rules have on air travel with Lithium-ion batteries have become much more restrictive recently and and you have to be aware of the new limitations. this article has been completely updated with the guidance of IATA in July to help make you aware of these new rules. To summarise this document. Lithium-ion cells and batteries sent as cargo are forbidden on passenger aircraft, as of 1 April 2016 Lithium-ion cells and batteries must be offered for transport as a state of charge (SoC) not exceeding 30% of their rated capacity. Spare Lithium-ion batteries not exceeding 100HW are permitted in carry-on luggage. A maximum of 2 x spare Lithium-ion battery exceeding 100WH but not exceeding 160WH are permitted in carry-on luggage allowance per passenger with the approval of the carrying airline. If your crew is travelling as a group, then you can share your Lithium-ion allowance between the travelling crew to ensure the maximum Lithium-battery allowance within the limits mentioned above. You must check the allowance for your airline prior to travelling, in case they have specific guidelines of their own.

Sony F5 and FS7 - which is better?

Sony have a habit of changing camera models every year and now we have the Sony PMW-F5 and FS-7 cameras, both of which are capable of high quality 4K recording and have the ability to be partnered with £50,000 or £500 lenses, so is the newer FS-7 better than the older and more expensive PMW-F5? This is a short article to explore the merits of both cameras for modern production.

VMI Guide to Lighting

This is a short article examining the most popular lighting fixtures and technologies concentrating on their advantages, limitations and applications. As with all such equipment the pace of change and development can sometimes disaffect the end user who will understandably stick to known and trusted tools rather than seeking out new fixtures and technology which are now available. This article is split into 3 sections: Section 1: Lighting Technology defines the 4 main categories of lighting technology (Tungsten, HMI, Fluorescent and LED). Section 2: Fixtures and Fittings then explore the differences between hard lighting vs. soft lighting; open face lamps vs fresnelFresnel lamps; Soft lights and beauty lights and accesoriesaccessories Section 3: Common Lighting Setup Examples introduces some common interview lighting setups.

Best Practice for avoiding Data Loss and strategies to fix if you do

We all know the importance of the data and footage we shoot, either for yourself or for that important client. Should the unthinkable happen and you lose your data, whether it be by deleting the wrong file or formatting the wrong card, seeing the dreaded 'card error' message, or worse still your card becomes corrupted and unreadable, it can be a stressful time. This article gives some useful tips to prevent this from happening and to know what to do if you are unlucky enough to experience it.

Easyrig - all you need to know

Easyrig systems are body harnesses which spread the weight of the camera system onto the operator's body making shoulder mount, freehand and gimble-mount operation less arduous for the operator. Since being developed in the 1990s by a Swedish camera operator with a bad back, both shooting styles, camera equipment and most importantly equipment form factors have changed enormously, causing the original Easyrig 2.5 to evolve into a multitude of models for lightweight cameras, regular cameras, gimbal cameras with fixed and variable support etc. This is a short article to explain the principles behind the Easyrig concept and to introduce the product range of models with advice to their suitability for various camera configurations.

An Ideal Marriage - How to build a kit hire relationship that lasts

Most GTC members will either regularly or occasionally need to hire items of camera equipment, whether it be a full kit for a long, ongoing shoot, or a one-off lens or other small item for a day or two. So how can you be sure to get the best advice and service from your chosen kit hire company? VMI amongst other GTC sponsor companies for whom kit hire is a major part of their business, was given the chance to respond to a questionnaire delving into how to foster a great relationship with them. What helps them to help you? And what really annoys them or will make working with you difficult from their side? Like any relationship, this is a two way thing and both parties will benefit proportionately to the effort they put into making it work. We are very grateful to the eight sponsor companies who sent in their views to help us compile this guide to a match made in heaven! Article first published in August 2018 by GTC with input from VMI and other rental companies.

Wanted: Thinkers outside the box - VMI's Internship Program

If you’ve recently graduated and haven’t yet been offered a graduate job, you can boost your skills and gain a foothold in the industry by becoming a runner or taking on a work placement or internship. These can help you to make contacts, prove yourself to an employer, build your confidence and put you in a stronger position to get a permanent graduate job. The catch, of course, is whether the employer is just taking you along for the ride, ringing some free mileage by exploiting your labour without giving anything in return. VMI runs an internship programme and it’s worth knowing that of the 28 full time employees at the London division of the company, six started out as interns and this article is about VMI's attitude and policy to its internship programme.

Anamorphic and Full Frame lens Tests

Do you ever wonder what a Zeiss Supreme looks like next to a Zeiss Masterprime?  or what about a Tokina Vista next to an ARRI Signature prime, or even how well the new Atlas Orion anamorphics flare compared to the Cooke/i SF anamorphics? Well, now you can. Ian and the team shot a comparison film of 20 sets of anamorphic and Full Frame lenses to make 57 separate clips, shot under controlled conditions to include a tracking shot and flare test for the event. The hour long film included all the lenses shown at the event and was designed to compare the lens characteristics directly as all other parameters of camera,codec,T Stop,shot, lighting and grade were a constant so the only fluctuation was in the charcter of the lenses. The full film was shown at the VMI anamorphic and Full Frame event in January and also at the BSC show and is available to watch in individual lens clips and a long playlist.

Successful Sigma Lens Day on 13 February 2020 at VMI

VMI held a Sigma lens day on 13 February 2020 in London. The intention was to show the differences between the Sigma Cine Primes and the new Sigma Classic Primes, which display a lot of character and flare easily.

Using Lens Extension Tubes reduces the minimum focus distance of lenses

Connecting a lens tube behind the lens will move the lens farther away from the camera's film plane or digital sensor, which allows the lens to focus much closer than it normally would. Extension tubes are commonly used for wildlife and macro photography.

The Canon C300 Mk II vs C300 - What's the fuss about?

The Canon C300 has had a long and illustrious career as the camera of choice for mainstream UK TV for a few years and now with the release of the C300 Mark II, we investigate whether the fuss is at all justified. We think that it is and this short article explains why.

Alexa Mini or Amira - which should I choose?

Alexa Mini or Amira? (or why I must have a Mini because it’s newer and better isn’t it?…no wait….) This is a short article to highlight the differences and similarities between the two cameras in order to assist VMI clients in making sensible and informed choices about which system would be most suitable for a given project.

Get More from your Production Budget

The relentless squeezing of production budgets means that we are all keen to make the most of the money that we have and this article aims to offer some sensible advice. Firstly, some good news - Broadcast equipment is getting cheaper, so the questions always asked by Production Companies are the following, which we will attempt to answer: • How to compare rental prices from competing rental companies? • What equipment to use? • Whether to buy or hire? • Or, if buying is considered, then when is the right time to buy?

Stuff that you didn't know you needed

Every now and again we come across items that radically change the way that productions are shot - like a presenter/interrotron device which puts inexperienced presentors feel more at ease ... ...and sometimes we come across items that work incredibly well and improve upon what people use already, like a robotic slider that fits in a travel bag. Either way, Kevin considered that all of these items come into the heading of Stuff that you didn't know you needed and We liked Kevin's idea and name so much, that we have even given these products a special subcategory on the accessories heading on our website!

HDR reality and monitoring - a DOP's Perspective

This article is the reproduction of some excerpts of a CML thread about HDR and monitoring HDR, which I have reproduced with permission from Geoff Boyle and Art Adams.  it was really interesting and is about HDR from the DOP's perspective.

2016 Anamorphic Prime Lens Chart

A very useful Prime Lens chart produced by Thomas Fletcher, detailing specific characteristics of the differing PL anamorphic prime lens sets and also where in the world you can hire them from.


This guide has been written as an overview of HDR technology for TV as it stands in January 2016. HDR makes pictures STUNNING and since the technology is very new and it still in development so take this guide as a snapshot of the current developments. This technology is very new and it still in development so take this guide as a snapshot of the current developments. All major industry players are now on board and the standard has been established but we expect to see few more changes in the final stages of development of this exciting new technology.


Would you leave £200,000 (of anything) in an unattended vehicle? Theft from vehicles and sets accounts for more than half of all equipment theft. Theft is an Industry Epidemic and here are some guidelines to assist you to reduce this growing problem.

12 bit RAW capture ARRI, Panasonic, Sony, Canon and other cameras using Odyssey 7Q RAW Recorder

We all know that capturing linear images in a native codec does not give the same range of dynamic contrast as shooting in a Log format, or better still, a RAW format.  However RAW files are so HUGE and the data is so unwieldy that until now, this hasn't really been practical, as only few high-end cameras, such as ARRI Alexa XT (and now also Alexa Mini with optional licence) were capable of on-board RAW acquisition and storage was pricey. However, the Odyssey 7Q has changed all of this with the release of the new Titan HD extract firmware release to make a cost-effective RAW capture device compatible with the RAW outputs of many currently available 4K cameras. This article explains how the Odyssey 7Q/7Q+ with RAW option is able to record 10 and 12 bit RAW images from cameras including ARRI Alexa, Panasonic VLT, Canon C300 Mk II, Sony FS-7 and others are available, as well as other benefits of shooting RAW.

Camera Comparison Chart

A very useful chart including all current HD and 4K cameras in a table and compariring useful data including image size, latitude, pixel resolution power consumption etc. Compiled by Tom Fletcher and Gary Adcock with information gathered from numerous conversations with various cinematographers, colorists, colleagues and manufacturers. and reproduced with kind permission from Tom Fletcher

Film Zoom Lens Comparison Chart

A very useful chart including all current film zoom lenses in a table and compariring useful data including image coverage, front diameter, weight, min T stop etc. Compiled by Tom Fletcher and Gary Adcock and reproduced with kind permission from Tom Fletcher

More Lenses are Coming...

Kevin and Ian had a very illuminating time at NAB and aside from there not being very much change happening with camera technology, there IS a lot of change with lenses and at VMI, we love our lenses! Developments are broadly on anamorphic, high-speed and lens data. This short article is our take on what to expect in the next year.

Guide: How to Shoot Bullet Time

A new VMI guide with video, courtesy of Stephen Roach and Jermaine Allen of Merchant Cantos showing just how easy it is to create unique 'Bullet time 360" videos for the ultimate 'hero' selfie. No longer to you needed a fixed rig of perhaps 50 DSLR cameras in a circle to make this shot with a lot of crew, knowhow and data

Do we adopt 4K now or wait for 8K?

A short summary of the big IBC dilemma: adopt 4K now or wait for 8K (AKA UHD-1 or UHD-2).

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 arrived in the 2nd part of 2014. Smaller, lighter, shorter and less expensive than the ARRI Alexa but most unmistakably an ARRI nonetheless - only with Canon EF and B4 Broadcast lens compatibility, enter the ARRI AMIRA.. 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.

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


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


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


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 , 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!


Outline of the popular HDCAM format and camera range


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)

VMI are proud sponsors of:

The British Society of Cinematographers The Guild of Television Cameramen The Guild of British Camera Technicians International Federation of Cinematographers Plasa - Rental Guard Plasa member Cinematography Mailing List Xhire - Anri fraud network