The blurry viewfinder – hey what’s going on?


Why is that I see a blurred image when I look through the Sony Pd-170 camera?

The Sony pd-170 gives you a choice for viewing. It is either the LCD or the viewfinder. Each of these serves somewhat different purposes. The viewfinder is the “professional” way of looking at the world through a camera. There are many questions from students surrounding the viewfinder, and how blurry it is, no matter what they try. Continue reading

The world of interlaced video

The first step in understanding video in general is to grasp the concepts of interlaced video and progressive video.

As far as we know the video we shot looked great. Something happens after you look at your export. Unfortunately tvs and computer monitors do not place nice. When recording in pal dv the refresh rate is determined by the camera or the input (A PAL signal sends 50 fields per second). The computer monitor is always at a variable rate between 60 & 85 Hz. So the 50 fps of your video – does not match well with the monitors refresh rate. This is one good case for de interlacing your video. Continue reading

The joy of DIY

For most people who are enthusiastic about video production it may not come as a shock to know that it is one of the most expensive fields to get into as an independent. Equipment is not cost effective at all as the rate of technology change and turnover is high. Continue reading

Mix it up!

Audio is more important than video. Imagine watching a movie where the video quality is a bit poor – with lines running through it, but the  sound quality was amazing.

You would watch it no problem. Small sacrifice. Now imagine the opposite. The picture is clear but the actors cannot be heard and there is a loud buzz in the audio. Press stop! No way! Audio plays a large part in any production. Continue reading

Simple tips on how to steady your camera… without a Steadicam!

Nowadays the differences between amateur and professional camera work can seem a bit “blurry”, pardon the pun! As audiences members we seem to be more accepting of many of the errors that years ago would be considered totally amateur. Yet there is one factor, that of the “steady shot” that makes the difference between say –  “Marcos making a home movie of his kids” and something more specific watchable and professional. It is one of the golden rules of shooting for the big screen. Keep it steady, or else, everybody gets seasick! So this applies to any anyone – shooting video at any time! Whether you are moving or trying to be still…keep reading! Continue reading

Just because you shot the video does not mean it’s yours! Get serious about who owns your work!

The moment you insert some Rihanna music in your video, that video cannot be owned exclusively by you because you do not own the licensing rights to the music. So unless you pay for it, (way too much money!), you must create your own music, and most of us lack that particular talent, so then your only other choice is royalty free, and/or creative commons music. Using this type of music and in most cases crediting the artist, gives you the freedom to do what you want with your video. Of course there are varying degrees of common creative and ownership licenses, but usually the source of your music will provide you with details. Royalty free music when purchased does not even require credits, because you own the music once it is paid for. In this case you can even sell your video without issue. Youtube has sophisticated software embedded where they can troll for licensed music. Copyright music is flagged, you get a strike against your account with the possibility of having your video taken down. Continue reading

How would you like to record the best quality video on the Sony Pd-170 camera?

The Sony Pd-170allows you to record in two different modes. There is the standard mode, the DV mode and the DVCAM mode. In the first the camera records more slowly, turning the heads slower, and allows you to use up your whole tape. A 60 minute tape will be 60 minutes – in terms of usable tape. In DVCAM mode the camera records faster,  turning the heads faster thus allowing you to record the maximum of only 40 minutes using a 60 minute tape. Continue reading

Audio recording – in a perfect world!

Audio recording is all about controlling your environment, your voice and controlling the signal going into the software from the microphone. It’s not easy when you don’t have all of the tools in hand or fighting against your environment. In a perfect world here is how you would create a voice over recording. Continue reading