At Last! Latest Australian Videocamera E-Magazine now available for FREE download.

No more having to come back to the website daily to see what’s new in the world of video, filmmaking, drones etc. Simply sign up to our E-Magazine and get a regular condensed version emailed directly to your mailbox as a PDF (approx 1MB).

Just enter your email address into the pop up on this website (once you have signed up it will never be shown again) and you’ll be added to the mailing list. Alternatively, simply email me at and I will add you manually.

Click the link below to download the latest version. Remember, it is all FREE!

Australian Videocamera Feb 14th 2022

Fitting out a boat for video shooting

Part 2 – what camera(s) and where and how to mount

Over the years, I have outfitted many vehicles for live shooting of video. I have done cars at the Indy Grand Prix week on the Gold Coast, rally cars and my own Monaro among others, but fitting out a boat brings utterly different challenges.

Water of course is the biggest issue to deal with (although dust can be equally as bad), but unlike race cars, weight is not too much of a problem – unless you are rigging up racing boats where the same things apply; that is added weight means loss of speed.

What is important though is flexibility, and by that, I mean the options you have to get shots that are varied and different.

Different Scenarios

For example, if you are shooting for a fishing video, anyone can hold a camera and point it at the actual person holding the rod that (maybe) has a fish on the end of the line. (That has been faked more times than I care to count over the years!)

But how about getting varying shots from different angles? A camera attached to the rod for example, or a camera under the water to get the last dramatic seconds before the fish is hoisted aboard. Perhaps a body mounted cam on the fisherman and / or the person hauling the fish aboard. Or a cap mounted one.

If you are lucky enough to have a fly bridge on the boat, then a camera mounted up high and pointing down to the back deck can get some very dramatic shots of the action. Many years back when shooting from a game boat (Signacharter and Captain Greg Guy) in Kiama on the NSW south coast, the camera I had mounted on the rail pointing out to starboard of the boat (the right side for you landlubbers) got a magnificent sequence of a marlin doing successive jumps in a dead calm sea for about 10 seconds (and yes it was catch and release).

And then there is the shot(s) of dolphins surfing in the bow wave, the mesmerising wake white water behind a boat at speed and of course we mustn’t forget the emotions of the protagonists – the skipper, crew, bystanders and the fisherperson themself.

And that is just fishing!

What about the thrill seekers who choose skiing, paragliding behind a boat, diving into the depths via a snorkel or full scuba? The options are almost limitless.

And all of these require a mount for the camera(s) of some type in other to get stable footage, and a means to control these cameras that is quick and easy.

GoPro Cameras and Mounts

Over the years I have reviewed many, many so-called “Action Cams”. The first was of course the venerable GoPro and this has evolved over the years to the latest model, the GoPro 10 Hero Black.

The GoPro (by the way, I refuse point blank to refer to brand names as if they were people the way say, Apple calls “the iPhone” simply “iPhone” has had many attempts to topple it from its perch over the years, from not just cheap and nasty knock off pretenders, but also reputable camera manufacturers including Sony, Nikon, Canon and even DJI (as we speak, DJI has just announced the Action 2 and more on that elsewhere).

But the strength of the GoPro has been based around the ecosphere it has generated, particularly in the area of the available mounting options.

The twin “finger” mounting point of the GoPro camera is now ubiquitous, and you can find mounts from GoPro and 3rd party manufacturers to account for just about any situation.

As mentioned, I have mounted GoPro’s in race cars, on boats and motor cycles, on helmets, chests and even BudweiserTheDog (RIP) Our colleague Stephen Turner has even mounted them externally on real aircraft wings!

Add to this the enclosures available for earlier models making them waterproof (newer models need no external enclosure) for protection against splashing water and even snorkelling, plus full-on enclosures for SCUBA down to 30 metres.

Due to wireless / Bluetooth technology, GoPros can be started and stopped and otherwise controlled via the Quik app on smartphones and tablets and some models even voice activated.

So you can see, my choice of which camera to use to kit out my boat became a no-brainer.

Some years back now when Australian Videocamera was still a paper-based publication I interviewed Paul Worstelling of IFISH fame on Channel 10, on just how that program was put together. Things for them have evolved too, but the basis of having a main cameraman with something like a shoulder mount Sony camera is still very much the go for the on-the-fly stuff, and if you can afford someone to act as this (or a willing volunteer) all well and good.

What I want though was a system whereby I can drive the boat and still have access to everything I want in one spot to control the camera(s) while others simply enjoyed themselves and are only available on call as and when needed.

This means I need to have mounts permanently in place on the boat to very quickly snap a GoPro in place as and when the need arises.

The plan is to have, at a minimum, 4 cameras on tap all controlled via Wi-fi using GoPro Quik on a Samsung Galaxy tablet that is mounted on the boat’s console, so while driving I have full access and can “switch” between cameras as needed for monitoring purposes.

The contents of this case mostly came from The units in white I designed and printed myself on my Adventurer 3 3D printer from Jaycar ($899).

I’ll of course also have access to a handheld camera for those candid shots and my choice here is a trusty little Panasonic HC-V180 I have had for many years, and this is backed up with a DJI Pocket 2.

Of course, if I am on a “real” shoot, then I can also call on my Panasonic HC-PV100 which I still consider one of the most versatile camcorders ever made despite it being HD and not 4K.

Scoping Out The Boat

So, the next step in the exercise is to actually scope out the boat and see exactly what types of mounts are needed and where they are to go. Looking at the boat (as per the picture) I can immediately identify probably 10 places for a mount to be permanently added.

These are on the rail on the front pointing forward, one each side on the rail to the side of the boat near where the windscreen curves around, one inside on the “dashboard” on the left pointing backwards at 45° and one on top of the console to capture the driver’s emotions, probably two below decks, one rear mounted centre on the transom pointing backwards and one each side on the rear quarter pointing into the rear of the boat. One up high on the rail holding the canopy above the windscreen may also be a good option.

I am also toying with using my Hague jib mount with a GoPro mount added so that we can get some backward facing shots rising and falling – perhaps pulling a fish out of the water.

Finally, let us also not forget the new kid on the block for this sort of shoot.

The drone.

I will be choosing between my DJI Air2S or DJI Mini 2 for these adventures – I haven’t yet decided. I admit to still being slightly leery even after 4 years since my – ah – misadventure of losing a GoPro Karma drone to the bottom of Hervey Bay. To recap, with only seconds to go before landing safely on the deck of the boat of John Haenke, (a good mate who these days runs brilliant fishing charters off Bowen Nth QLD) – the battery suddenly failed – a now known fault – and Karma drone, GoPro 5 and SD card with some brilliant whale footage went to Davy Jones’ locker never to be seen again.

Over the next week, we are going to physically start mapping these points out by placing cameras in different locations and actually seeing what the imagery looks like.

And we haven’t even THOUGHT about audio yet ….

Stay tuned!

(For details on the Gopro cameras, go to



Latest PR Releases sent to Australian Videocamera

I get many, many press releases. Some are worth detailing in full in their own article, but a lot more are worth a glance and that is about it.


I do realise they could be of interest to someone in the wider video / filmmaking universe, who probably otherwise would never get to see the info contained in a specific release, so have decided doing a regular digest and posting it on the home page might be a worthwhile idea.

I can monitor the numbers who view the page and if it turns out after a period there is no interest, I’ll stop doing it.

Any comments or ideas are most welcome and any story I publish can be commented on of course.

Here’s today’s list of PR releases and links. I’ll detail the company sending the info first and then any headline that will also be a link if applicable.


DIY Sun Shades for Small Camera Monitors

Reader Daryl Cross sent us in this tip. I am sure it could also be modified to suit phone screens when drone flying …

Thought you might find this interesting.

Was trying to find articles about DIY Shades for small external camera monitors – couldn’t really find any suitable ones so decided to make my own.

To start with I admit I am a bit of a cheapskate – don’t want to spend too much money of accessories in my video work.. I do most of my work outdoors and very early on I found that using an external 5″ monitor on my camera I was still getting too much glare, even with the shade that came with the monitor.

Looked around at ways this could be overcome and had a brainwave. As we eat a lot of ice cream in our household it seemed to me that if I could convert one of the small ice cream containers to fit over the existing shade on the monitor it would solve most of my glare problems. After trying out a number of different ways to make this “Ice cream Shade” finally came up with the following solution.

  1. Mark out an accurate section of the lid of the container to fit snugly over the monitor shade (reasonably tight so it won’t slip), cut out that section.
  2. Mark out a section to cut out on the bottom of the ice cream container for viewing through and cut that out.
  3. Spray paint the inside (and outside) of the container (and lid) with Matt Black Paint.
  4. Wait until dry and then give a second coat of Matt Black.
  5. Glue the lid on to the container with Super glue (or similar).

That’s it – you are finished. I have been using my “Ice Cream shade” without a hitch for at least three years now but can always make another one if need be in a couple of hours. 

Full Review: DJI Mini 2 Drone

If the number of people asking me daily about buying a drone is an indication, these are a hot ticket right now.

Whether a drone is “new” iPhone or iPad (“I simply must have one”) or there is a greater need than I can ascertain a reason for, I am not certain, but one thing is for sure, when it comes to drones right now, whether it be for beginner, hobby or professional use, DJI is really the only game in town.

Over the last few months, the company has catered for two ends of the spectrum; the DJI FPV we took on a preliminary test flight last week is aimed at two markets simultaneously – the drone racer and the person wanting the best cinematic filming you can get for a reasonable price.

The other, the Mini 2, builds on the Mavic Mini, and DJI has taken on board all of the drawbacks of this, still spectacular model for the price, and made it even better. Far better.

The most notable feature, which whilst not hitting any legalistic targets in Australia as it does elsewhere, is the weight. At under 250 grams, the DJI Mini 2 solves a problem overseas in of just who can fly the drone and what qualifications are needed. Due to the weight – or lack thereof – the Mini 2 is not classified as an “aircraft”, so in theory, anyone can fly it.

In Oz, our rules are a lot stricter, with the flying of drones governed by CASA, the body that controls all things aircraft-y. Before doing any flying, especially for the first time, I would urge anyone to check and be familiar with the rules and regs that are currently in place, and available here.

One thing the DJI Mini 2 does that aids in flying safety is utilising a database that interfaces between the controller, the app (DJI Fly for Android or iOS) and the GPS system of the drone. When attempting to fly, this will check the location of the drone in its database, and if you are in a “no-fly” location, it will simply refuse to take off.


For instance, in our local area, I used to be able to fly at our fenced in dog park which is around 10Kms away, using say my GoPro Karma drone. However, the Mini 2 just blinks at me, and the app tells me that I am within 8Km of the local airport, so … computer says no ….

Conversely, just down the road on the foreshore where the DJI FPV footage was shot is not an issue. Nor is the beach I shot this footage on the Mini 2.

One of my gripes with the original Mavic Mini was the controller. Simply, it was finicky to setup and just didn’t feel right, with the phone, used for viewing, suspended underneath.

The Mini 2 controller has been entirely revamped, and mimics the unit as used with its bigger sibling, the Mavic Air 2. The phone now sits on top; the connecting USB cable is much easier to click into place and it is far easier to hold.


The controls are easier to get at too, with the Return to Home button prominent, and an Fn button that lights up an ancillary landing light being a nice addition.

To switch between modes – Cine, Normal and Sport – a simple 3-way switch between the joysticks is utilised, and at top right is a toggle button between video and still imaging, and the shutter button.

Finally, at top left, a gimbal wheel is used for gimbal tilt.

The physical camera on the Mini 2 is pretty much unchanged from the original on the Mavic Mini. That is, it is has a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor with a 24mm (equiv in 35mm language) fixed-aperture F2.8 lens with an 83º FOV, and an ISO range of 100-3200.

The Camera

A major update though is that you can now shoot in JPG AND RAW format.

The 3-axis gimbal makes sure that all footage is nice and smooth, and you can now record in 4K/30p, 2.7K/30p and 1080p/60p at 100 Mbps. This is up from the original Mavic Mini that had only 2.7K/30p and 40 Mbps.

In both 4K and 2.7K, you now also have access to 2x zooming.

The original Mavic Mini offered 4 “Quickshots” modes and this has been upped to 5 with the Mini 2; “Dronie”, which flies up to approx. 40m above its target, “Helix” which spirals at a distance, also to around 40m “Rocket”, and “Circle”. Added to the Mini 2 is, “Boomerang” where the drone flies away from and back to the subject in an oval path.

Sadly there aren’t any Intelligent Flight modes, such as ActiveTrack or Point of Interest, but we live in hope of a firmware upgrade sometime down the path.

In still photo mode, you also have three different options for creating panoramas – “Sphere”, resembles the plugin “Tiny Planet” and captures twenty-six images. “180º” captures seven images for a landscape perspective and “Wide” captures a 3×3 tile consisting of nine images.

Data Transmission

The Mini 2 has gone away from using standard Wi-fi to communicate with the controller. Instead, DJI has incorporated its OcuSync 2.0 technology which uses a dual frequency system the company says automatically alternates between channels to prevent signal interference between the remote and drone and allows a transmission distance of up to 10Km.

Of course this is a bit of a moot point as Australian Regulations state you must keep your drone in visual sight at all times. It’s impressive though!

In Flight

I do not pretend to be an expert flier; like many, I am still learning and had my fair share of crashes (with a scar on my arm to prove it) and even a lost drone with a GoPro Karma at the bottom of Hervey Bay due to a battery warning failure (so technically not my fault!)

I have flown a variety of drones over the last few years though, and have to say the Mini 2 is probably the easiest to come to grips with straight out of the box. Additionally, over the Mavic Mini, the Mini 2 has updated motors which are quieter and have more acceleration.

Due to the fantastic gimbal stabilisation, footage obtained is smooth and crisp, and the DJI Fly app makes changing settings in flight nice and easy. You do have to have a play and get to know the app having said that, but it is quite intuitive and thankfully, is also used across the board for many of DJI’s drones so is a learn once experience.

For Beginners

OK, back to the beginning. Many people ask if they should buy a cheapie drone to start with, and I am in two minds over this. If you spend say a $100 on a knock off and crash it (and you will), then it is no major loss. And you will gain some experience in the process. However, the cheapies do not in general have some of the niceties helping you avoid that major prang such as stabilisation, ability to hover, return to home etc.

The Mini 2 does not have the obstacle detection smarts of its bigger brothers such as the DJI FPV (although the FPV turns this off in Sport and Manual mode), but you can get propeller protectors that will take some sting out of a minor bingle.

The DJI Fly app is also vastly superior to any other app for drones I have seen (and used) letting you explore the limits of the drone with greater safety. And generally, if you do have a major stack, then a) parts are available and b) DJI offers a form of insurance called DJI Care Refresh which supports up to 3 replacement units over a 2 year period (and lets face it, if you are still crashing at this level after two years, I’d be taking up something else as a hobby!).

With a Mini 2, for a paltry AUD$79, DJI will supply 2 replacements for one year so is well worth the investment in my opinion. (By comparison, for the DJI FPV it is AUD$349 p.a.)

This means, to my mind, that as a first drone, getting a DJI Mini 2 is a no brainer and avoid the cheapies. Incidentally, I also have a regular parade of people after new batteries from knock-offs which generally are simply just unavailable in Australia, and spare parts are almost non-existent in their availability.

Mind you, I’d also get the “Fly More” pack with 2 extra batteries and a charger, and a stack of decent, high speed SD cards, a high capacity Power Bank for recharging in the field, and possibly some ND filters.

My suggestion as to a complete starter kit then is:

… and you’ll be off and flying!

For complete details and all the specifications of the DJI Mini 2, see

Everest VR: Journey to the Top of the World

Blackmagic Design today announced that the stunning new 8K 3D documentary “Everest VR: Journey to the Top of the World,” produced by Facebook’s Oculus, was edited, graded and stitched with DaVinci Resolve Studio and Fusion Studio.

In April of 2017, world famous climber Ueli Steck died while preparing for climbing both Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse without the use of bottled oxygen. Ueli’s close friends Jonathan Griffith and Sherpa Tenji attempted to finish off this project while award winning VR director and alpine photographer Griffith captured the entire story.

Over the course of three years, Griffith shot footage following Tenji and some of the world’s most accomplished climbers on some of the world’s most extreme locations. The series also includes footage that lets viewers witness what it is like to be engulfed in a Himalayan avalanche, cross a crevasse and staring deep in its depths, take a huge rock climbing fall, camp under the stars and soak in the view from the top of the world.

Griffith worked with a veteran VR post production expert Matthew DeJohn for editing and color correction, VR stitching expert Keith Kolod and Brendan Hogan for sound design.

“It really was amazing how a small crew was able to get all of this done. The collaboration between myself as the cameraman and Matt and Keith was a huge part of being able to get this series done and done at such as a high quality,” said Griffith.

Matt and Keith would give suggestions on how to capture for VR, how camera wobbling impacted stitching, how to be aware of the nadir and zenith in each frame and to think about proximity issues. The efficient post production process helped in letting us focus on what was needed, and I am incredibly happy with the end result. Everyone on the project worked above and beyond, and the results show.”

DeJohn was tasked with bringing together a huge amount of footage from a number of different high end camera systems.

A VR project usually has different teams of multiple people for editing, grading and stitching, but with DaVinci Resolve, Keith and I handled everything,” DeJohn said. “DaVinci Resolve is ideal for VR post. The fact that every tool I needed was in a single app made the entire process efficient and cost effective. So much time was saved simply by just having to switch apps with a few mouse clicks instead of shutting down the process by moving files from one system to another.”

For editing, DeJohn used DaVinci Resolve Studio to cut the series at 2Kx2K, relinked to 8Kx8K source and then change the timeline resolution to 8kx8K for final color and rendering. He used the Fairlight audio editing tab for its expanded toolset which allowed him to make fine adjustments, manage different narration takes with audio layers, and manage varied source files such as mono narration, stereo music, and 4-channel ambisonic spatial audio.

With color correction, I used Resolve to ensure we kept and honest look throughout and to make that look consistent across various camera systems and shooting conditions.

VR forces you to be real, and I used DaVinci Resolve to keep every scene realistic because any hint of oversaturation or an unnatural grade would ruin the VR experience,” he continued. “I colored the project from the very first edit so when it came to finalize the color it was just a process of touching things up.

Fusion Studio was used for stereoscopic alignment fixes, motion graphics, rig removal, nadir patches, stabilization, stereo correction of the initial stitch, re-orienting 360 imagery, viewing the 360 scenes in a VR headset and controlling focal areas. More intense stitching work was done by Kolod using Fusion Studio.

Kolod, explained: “Every shot in this type of production is a VFX shot and I relied on Fusion. It is better, faster and more affordable. The render time is much faster and the seamless integration with the rest of post is incredibly efficient.

Footage of such an extreme environment, as well as the closeness of climbers to the cameras, provided unique challenges for Kolod who had to rebuild portions of images from individual cameras. He also had to manually ramping down the stereo on the images north and south poles to ensure easy viewing, fix stereo misalignment and distance issues between the foreground and background and calm excessive movement in images.

“A regular fix I had to make was adjusting incorrect vertical alignments, which create huge problems for viewing. Even if a camera is a little bit off, the viewer can tell,” Kolod said. “The project used a lot of locked off tripod cameras, and you would think that the images coming from them would be completely steady. But a little bit of wind or slight movement in what is usually a calm frame makes a scene unwatchable in VR. So I used Fusion for stabilization on a lot of shots.”

“High quality VR work should always be done with manual stitching with an artist making sure there are no rough areas. The reason why this series looks so amazing is that there was an artist involved in every part of the process, shooting, editing, grading and stitching,” he finished.  


These are difficult times. For the arts / entertainment industries, here is a possible antidote. Just an idea … it may just help…

I am not to proud to admit that the current “situation” has me a tad jumpy. Oh I am not concerned about actually getting the BeerVirus, I am more concerned about two other things that have arisen as a consequence of it.

The first is the way people are reacting.

This “bugger you, it’s everyone for himself” attitude of late, particularly when it comes to panic buying, is not just shocking, it is downright scary, and I thought we were better than that.

This is only a small step away from anarchy (already in the US we are getting footage of people queuing to stock up on even MORE guns and ammunition).

Most of this has been caused, I believe, by our Government’s tardy response, or failure to see, the mood of the people. Simply, the masses are scared as they simply don’t know what the Hell is going on. Thankfully, as of today, that seems to be abating somewhat, and I would suggest the fact that at last, some sort of time frame has been offered for this to be, if not all over, at least under control is the reason. And people such as Dr Norman Swan  have brought some calm and easily understanble and digestible knowledge the average person can understand and relate to.

(As an aside, THIS alone is a very good reason the ABC needs funding at decent levels).

Perhaps 6 months they are saying. Maybe even 3 if some huge stroke of luck occurs.

Which leads me to the second thing.

6 months – even 3 months – is a long time, especially if you are in the arts and entertainment business. There is the prospect of little or no money coming in, short of what the Government offers, but maybe equally as bad for fertile minds in these professions, is the prospect of boredom and stagnation.

It worried me too; major exhibitions and conferences in the world of video and filmmaking such as NAB in Las Vegas have been cancelled, Integrate here in Australia has also been knocked on the head and major film production ceased here in Australia and around the world.

This means that in what I do, there is a dearth of things to write about. No new products announced is a major thing. And for a magazine involved in all aspects of video and filmmaking, this is little death.

But this morning, I saw a Facebook post from an old, old friend of mine who now resides in the UK. In essence, it asked what will happen to children’s learning and education if they are forced to stay away from school for an extended period. Then it posed the next question; who said learning was only mathematics, and languages or science and literature?

So why not take this time (if it happens – but then, do it even if it doesn’t happen anyway!) to teach other things. Forgotten things. Things they would probably never have learned if not for this chance.

Basic things. How to cook. How to balance a bank statement. Change the oil in the car. Operate a washing machine or vacuum cleaner. Yes, even sew on a button!

And this got me thinking.

Extrapolating this out, why not use any extra time you have now to do similar things? Learn stuff in the past you “never had time for”.

In the realm of film and video making, why not download that trial version of the NLE you have promising yourself to look at for months – even years – and learn it.  Or that 3D modelling and animation application? Have a play with some new plug-ins?

Teach yourself audio engineering or the art of lighting. Even just the basics. Tackle a skill that you haven’t tried before. Expand your horizons.

Anecdotally, during the Great Plague in Europe in the Middle Ages, William Shakespeare and Sir Isaac Newton did some of their greatest works and made their greatest discoveries whilst in their equivalent of our Coronavirus pandemic.

We could do a lot worse than attempt to mimic that. Who knows what you might write, what scene you might create, what new use of a special effect you might master?

And come out the other side bigger and better than before with more skills, more ideas and even perhaps, more confidence!

And I call on vendors during this period to perhaps extend trial periods and even make special pricing available in order to encourage this idea. A sale of a copy of your latest version of software for less 75% is better than no sale at all for example.

If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them! Please contact me via the comments section below, via Twitter (@auscamonline), Instagram (AustralianVideocamera), Facebook (Australian Videocamera) or privately via

And keep safe everyone.




Introduction: Cinema 4D 3D modelling, CGI, animation software

by Denby Smith

Denby Smith is an experienced modeller, animator and film maker. Over the following months, he will be bringing a comprehensive tutorial on using Cinema 4D from German company Maxon in easy-to-follow lessons that explore all facets of the software, building to a completed model at the end.

Here is the introduction

You can get a trial version of Cinema 4D for MAc and PC at

The realm of Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI), 3D modelling, animation and rendering is traditionally one beyond reach for most videographers, let alone production budgets! Am I right?

Still, the potential benefits of implementing 3D design elements in video production are so great, that videographers and small production teams can come under pressure to generate custom 3D content within a restrictive budget, both fiscal and temporal. Given the complexity of the process, it is time consuming and often unaffordable. However, that doesn’t mean that creating your own 3D content is unachievable, especially these days.

Enter CINEMA 4D, a powerful 3D modelling and animation software package from German company MAXON. Originally developed for Commodore’s, sadly missed, Amiga platform under the name FastRay and released in 1990, CINEMA 4D began releasing on PC and Mac in 1996 with 1997 seeing the last release for the struggling Amiga.

Nearly 30 years on and MAXON has firmly established its place in the high-end 3D modelling and animation industry alongside Lightwave, 3Dstudio MAX and Blender, releasing the latest build last year, CINEMA 4D R-20.  The good news is that CINEMA 4D is intuitive and easy to pick up, once you have a grasp on the basics.

C4D offers modelling standards like Parametric, NURB, Spline, Polygonal and Sub-d modelling tools, but also has a unique array of impressive procedural tools for rapidly generating extremely complicated models and animations at reduced labor and processing cost.

BodyPaint 3D is included, which allows painting directly onto UVW meshes and R-20 sees the addition of a node-based material editor.

A powerful physics engine is incorporated allowing complex, dynamic simulations and interactions. C4D is capable of generating photo realistic images utilizing Real World, Physically Based Lighting, Global Illumination, Camera and Environmental effects. As such the package includes Pro-Render, C4D’s onboard GPU renderer, however C4D is supported by most standalone and plugin renderers on the market such as Arnold, Octane or V-Ray. Basically, everything you need to produce stunning 3D content.

Over this series, I will attempt to distil what I have learned over the years, with the aim of getting you familiar with working with 3D environments and generating you own content. I will cover fundamentals of key steps in the process of generating high quality, animated 3D content and demonstrate techniques with the hope that you will go on and experiment further, customizing and adding a personal touch to your scene as it develops. The scene will take on a Sci-Fi / Space theme on the basis that it allows us a bit of creative license with what we create and how it might look.

It must be noted that for a smooth and enjoyable 3D experience, a higher-power system and GPU are recommended. I am running an MSI Z-97 motherboard with 32Gb RAM and a liquid cooled Intel i7-4970 CPU. My Graphics card is an MSI Nvidia 980ti 6Gb, a little long in the tooth no doubt, but up to the task.

Is the new iPhone 11 camera TRULY “Pro Level” as Apple says? Let’s see…

Earlier this week I sent an email to all the major smartphone manufacturers.

In it I mentioned that as vendors these days flog their phones based on the video / photographic credentials as much as anything else, then it made sense that the only dedicated video / film creation and hardware oriented magazine in Australia should be of interest to them in terms of review and critique.

Depending on the content of the post, we can reach up to 160,000 people via our network of Facebook Groups dedicated to video and all its disciplines, not to mention Twitter, Instagram etc as well as our own, not insignificant number of web / mag subscribers.

And of course, it is a safe bet that every single one of those people have a smartphone.

To date, not one reply.

The iPhone 11

Today – well overnight – Apple announced its latest in iPhone whizzbangery and as usual, it is full of made up technology names with Capital Letters such as Stage Mono, True Tone Flash, Slow Sync, Live Photos, Smart HDR and Deep Fusion.

There is also a claim that it has the “fastest CPU in a smartphone”, like ever, a statement that I and others have reported has nothing to verify its accuracy whatsoever.

I’ll leave it to others to speculate on just how good the iPhone 11 is in the camera / camcorder department on its own merits.  I’ll wait (with bated breath) until I have before I comment.

But I was curious. Apple has released a sort of a specification list of the iPhone 11’s camera, so I thought it might be interesting to compare those side by side with a camcorder. For the full list of these Apple specs, see

In the press release, Apple has stated that the camera in the iPhone is “A Pro Camera System for Everyone”, so we’ll put it up against a proper pro camera shall we and see… and the one I chose to reflect portability and connectivity is the Sony RX0 Mk II.  For the Sony full specs see

The Sony RX0 MK II

The Sony RX0 MK II is priced at $949; the iPhone 11 starts at $1249 and climbs to an eye watering $1849. I am mainly comparing video capabilities by the way.



Sony RX0 Mk II

Apple iPhone 11

Sensor Size

13.2mm x 8.8mm

Not Stated


NTSC/PAL Selector: [PAL] mode AVCHD: 24M FX(1,920×1,080/50i) / 17M FH(1,920×1,080/50i), XAVC S 4K10: 25p 100M(3,840×2,160/25p) / 25p 60M(3,840×2,160/25p), XAVC S HD: 50p 50M(1,920×1,080/50p) / 50p 25M(1,920×1,080/50p) /25p 50M(1,920×1,080/25p) /25p 25M(1,920×1,080/25p)/ 100p 60M(1,920×1,080/100p)10 / 100p 100M(1,920×1,080/100p)10

4K at 24fps, 30fps, 60 fps

1080p HD at 30fps or 60fps

Max Frame Rate

1000fps (HD only)

120 fps (HD only)

Image Stabilisation


Optical for 4K, 1080p and 720p

Optical Zoom





Not Stated

Slo Mo Support

Up to 1000 fps

240fps and 120fps at 1080p


Continuous AF





Shutter Speed

1/3 sec to 1/32000 sec

Not Stated

Focal Length


Not Stated

Angle of View

84 degree

120 degree




HDR Support


Photos only

Video formats


HEVC and H.264

Transfer Rate


No Stated

Photo while videoing?

Yes (HD only)

8Mp while 4K recording



Splash only

Tiltable LCD




Hardly “pro level” you’d have to say. Effectively it shoots 4K video, just as say the brilliant little Panasonic VX1 does (at a retail price of $899) or even a DJI Action Camera at $499 (and the DJI has far more versatility).

But “pro level”? Err No.

If you want to have a decent, flexible 4K camera, there are two options there alone that are far cheaper than an iPhone. If you want pro level specs, the Sony RX0 MKII is STILL far cheaper than an iPhone.

So, get a Samsung A20 or similar and a proper camera and you’re miles ahead. Or stick with the iPhone you have already and get a decent camera.

You’ll still be able to waste that 4K video on Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook …


Survey: Would You Like Again To See a Printed Version of Australian Videocamera?

After much soul searching and market research, I have decided there is a legitimate option to again produce a properly paper printed edition of Australian Videocamera magazine.

This would not be a regular monthly edition like we did back in the “noughties”, but more likely a quarterly “special” edition.

There are a number of factors that will decide this final decision; advertising to complement and support it, material to include in it and of course the final arbiter, is there a demand for it! 

So I am asking you via a quick survey below. And to spice it up and encourage you to vote, we have a Sennheiser XS-W Wireless Digital Mic set as a prize to one lucky respondent! Just tell us your email address at the end!

(function(t,e,s,n){var o,a,c;t.SMCX=t.SMCX||[],e.getElementById(n)||(o=e.getElementsByTagName(s),a=o[o.length-1],c=e.createElement(s),c.type=”text/javascript”,c.async=!0,,c.src=[“https:”===location.protocol?”https://”:”http://”,””].join(“”),a.parentNode.insertBefore(c,a))})(window,document,”script”,”smcx-sdk”); Create your own user feedback survey

Review: Sony Cybershot DSC-RX0 Mk II

For well over 18 months now I have waxed lyrical about Sony’s fabulous little Cybershot DSC-RX0 camcorder.

When people see it for the first time, it is often mistaken for a GoPro or other “Action Camera”, but as I then tell them, the Sony RX0 is what an Action Camera would like to be when it grows up.

Now Sony has released “Son of RX0”, more correctly called the Cybershot DSC-RX0 II. Similar to the original, it measures just 59mm x 40.5mm x 35mm and weighs just 132g. It is slightly thicker in the body than the RX0 mainly due to a redesign of the screen: it now is on a double hinge system, so it swings out 180° and tilts which is a great enhancement. This also increases the weight by around 20g.

It still fits easily into a pocket however, and due to its ruggedness is ready for whatever environment you want throw at it. The RX0 II is waterproof up to 10 metres deep, dustproof, shockproof up to 2 metres and crushproof up to 200KG force.


One thing has not been what I would call “fixed” though. The cover for the ports on the rear is still in my opinion a half-baked affair, prone to falling off and getting easily lost. It is not permanently connected, instead having as small length of plastic that pokes into a hole.

I lost my first within minutes whilst on holiday in Broome this time last year regular readers many recall. Perhaps Sony should supply a couple of spares in the box.

When shut, it is waterproof as suggested, but it is just too easy to make a mistake and when water gets into electronics, it is often goodnight nurse.

Technical Specifications

The RX0 II employs a 1” CMOS sensor giving 15.3 megapixels of video resolution. The lens has a focal length of 7.9mm (which is equivalent to 24mm in 35mm-land) and a maximum aperture of f/4. According to Sony, the minimum focus distance has been reduced from the 50cm in the RX) to 20cm in the RX0 II.

It’s a given of course the RX0 II shoots 4K video.

ISO has been slightly bettered with the bottom end down to 80 (from 125) and the high end still at 12800.

A couple of new functions have been added to aid in shooting people in particular with a Soft Skin Effect to improve the “look” of skin and Eye AF which uses the subject’s eyes as a focussing point.

The original allowed slo-mo shooting and the Mark II has continued this ability with up to 1000 frame per second shooting (in HD this is limited to 12fps). There is also time lapse / interval recording, shutter speeds up to 1/32,000.

Picture Profiles let you set the overall tone of movie productions from the camera body, adjusting parameters that affect the final look of your movie. Of course you still get the basics such as Zebra, grid lines, audio level meter, peaking levels, and others (which is a lot to fit on the small 3.8cm screen.

Menu System

Sony has an app for camera control available. There is nothing too startling in that as most manufacturers now provide such a thing, however in my case with a Samsung Note 7, it simply did not work on the RX0.

This was a pain as the comprehensive – and I do mean comprehensive – menu system is quite tiny and unless you have near as dammit perfect eyesight, is quite hard to read. I had to resort to a magnifying glass more than once.

Thankfully, Sony seems to have recognised this as the new app has been rejigged to cater for this apparent Samsung anomaly.

I often espouse the need to become familiar with your camera’s innards, and this is especially true of the RX0 (Marks 1 and II). There are so many options and functions available to you it can be bewildering. I strongly suggest an afternoon sit down and spending the time getting to know the camera, the menu structure and functionality. It will reap rewards in your enjoyment with this camera trust me.


One function that pros found useful was the ability to control a number of RX0s from a smart phone app wirelessly. There is also now a dedicated control box letting you control multiple cameras via a wired connection from a laptop.

One advantage of this is the immediate transfer of files through the same connection.

Whilst speaking of accessories, I also recommend the usage of the optional shooting grip (Part # VCT-SGR1). Its not cheap at $149 but doers give you huge flexibility and control allowing adjustable shooting angles and even converting into a mini-tripod.

A USB connection also offers you capture and zoom controls on the grip itself and amazingly caters for left and right-handed users!

For deep water divers there is also a 100 metre housing soon to be available and if you of the type that likes your camera mounted in a cage, you can have one of those too (but no pricing available as yet).


The Sony RX0 II is powered by a small lithium battery good for they reckon, 35 minutes in movie shooting mode. This can be recharged via USB but from experience, I ‘d recommend only using the supplied adaptor as basic phone chargers just don’t give enough oomph.

Interface connectivity includes a microUSB port, micro HDMI and external mic jack. Bluetooth and Wi-fi are standard.


How Sony has managed to pack everything they have into this baby camcorder is amazing. There is little technically that a full on dSLR doesn’t have jammed into this tiny body (barring interchangeable lenses of course).

I was put on to the original RX0 by the respected cinematographer by Pieter de Vries A.S.C. and I am glad he did. Since my first play it has been my carry-at-all-times camera of choice. The Cybershot DSC-RX0 II only improves on the original making it even better if that was possible.

Sony has even managed to drop the price by $100 to below the AUD$1000 mark.

If you are in the market for an “action cam” but also want something that is a genuine workhorse camcorder suitable for just about any shooting scenario you can throw at it, have a good, long hard look at the Sony Cybershot DSC-RX0 Mk II.

I guarantee you will not regret it,


Move over beloved Sony DSC RX0, here is the RX0 Mark II. It’s even better!

We LOVE our Sony DSC RX0 (review here); there is no more versatile camcorder on the market we reckon – and we even gave one away in a competition.

But Sony today introduced the RX0 II (model DSC-RX0M2). The new model builds upon the waterproof/dustproof2, shockproof[vii], crushproof[viii] and ultra-compact qualities of the original RX0. The RX0 II offers internal 4K recording, an up to 180-degree and down to 90-degree tiltable LCD screen that even works underwater[vi], and new image stabilisation solutions for video recording.

At the heart of the RX0 II sits a 1.0-type stacked 15.3-megapixel1 Exmor RS™ CMOS image sensor and an advanced BIONZ X™ image processing engine that offer enhanced[ix] colour reproduction including beautiful skin tones. This power packed combination has been optimised to deliver lightning fast performance and exquisite image quality for both stills and movie shooting across a wide sensitivity range of ISO 80[x] -12800. The ZEISS® Tessar T* 24mm3F4.0 fixed wide-angle lens has a shortened minimum focusing distance of 20cm, making it perfect for selfies or table-top photos. 

A camera for all conditions

The RX0 II is truly a ‘worry-free’ camera that can be taken into places that no other camera can go. Measuring just 59mm x 40.5mm x 35mm[xi] and weighing just 132g,[xii] the RX0 II fits easily into a pocket and is ready for whatever the elements can throw at it. It is waterproof2 up to 10 metres deep, dustproof2, shockproof7 up to 2 metres and crushproof8 up to 200KG force.

“The original RX0 was designed to enable new forms of creative expression through its form factor and technical capabilities,” said Jun Yoon, Head of Digital Imaging, ANZ. “The new RX0 II has built on this with added features and functionality that make it the perfect camera for any type of travel. This ultra-compact camera is also ideal for capturing stills or video across a huge range of shooting and vlogging scenarios.”

Movies and more

The RX0 II offers 4K 30p internal movie recording4 with full pixel readout and no pixel binning to collect approximately 1.7 times the amount of data required for 4K video. This oversampling reduces the appearance of moiré and jaggies and delivers smooth, high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Using the recently introduced Sony “Imaging Edge™” mobile applications, this footage can be transferred to a smartphone[xiii], edited and shared easily across social networks.

The RX0 II introduces in-body electronic stabilisation[xiv] for steady footage, even when shot handheld. This can be enhanced even further when footage is exported to a smartphone or tablet running the ‘Movie Edit add-on’[xv] application where the additional information captured during filming can be processed to produce a video with gimbal-like smoothness[xvi]. An additional new feature that can be accessed via Sony ‘Movie Edit add-on’ is ‘Intelligent Framing’ where the selected subject is kept in the centre of the frame and image distortion is corrected in a final edit. Depending on where the video will be shared, the required aspect ratio can then be selected.

Additional movie features of the RX0 II include Super Slow Motion recording at up to 1000 fps[xvii], uncompressed 4K HDMI output and simultaneous proxy movie recording.  Users can utilise Picture Profile, S-Log2 and Time Code / User Bit functions to ensure a final result that exactly matches their creative vision.

Precision photography

The versatility of the RX0 II means that it offers a host of stills photography features in addition to its video capabilities. It boasts an Anti-distortion Shutter of up to 1/32000 sec. and can shoot at up to 16 fps5 to capture any fleeting moment of emotion that passes across the subject’s face. In an upgrade from the original RX0, colour reproduction has been enhanced to reproduce natural and vivid colour of human skin, and the optional ‘Soft Skin Effect’ can be applied to cover minor blemishes and wrinkles.  Rating and Protect functions can be applied in camera and a grouped display of continuously shot images can be viewed on the camera.

Sony’s Eye AF, that is proving hugely popular with portrait photographers across the world, has been upgraded on the RX0 II. The speed, accuracy and operation of the Eye AF has been improved to make it even easier to capture a stunning portrait; a simple half press of the shutter button will lock-on to the eye of the subject. The focused eye can be selected (left / right / auto) in the menu or assigned to a custom button, allowing the user to concentrate on composition.

The camera can be set for interval shooting, the results of which can be edited with Sony’s “Imaging Edge” desktop application ‘viewer’ into stunning time-lapse videos[xviii].

Multi-camera options

Up to 5 RX0 II cameras can be controlled wirelessly[xix] using the Sony ‘Imaging Edge Mobile’[xx] application and between 6 to 50 cameras will be able to be controlled via an access point (scheduled for winter 2019).The RX0 II is also compatible with the Camera Control Box CCB-WD1[xxi] which enables up to 100 cameras to be connected and controlled in a wired multi-camera setup. Both of these multi-camera solutions unlock a whole new world of shooting opportunities and free video expression from any viewpoint that the user wishes to pursue.

For more information on the new RX0 II camera, please visit its product page here

The RX0 II will be available in Australia from April 2019 for SRP $949. The RX0 II kit with the VCT-SGR1 Shooting Grip and bracket will be available in Australia from June 2019, pricing TBC.

  • [i] Approximate effective megapixels
  • [ii] Depending on usage conditions and circumstances, no guarantee is made regarding damage to, malfunction of, or waterproof/dustproof performance of this camera. Water and dust resistance equivalent to JIS protection level IP68. Under water, the minimum focusing distance is increased, and angle of field is narrower. This camera sinks in water — please use a strap to prevent loss
  • [iii] Converted from angle of view (35mm equivalent)
  • [iv] Wi-Fi does not operate.  QFHD:3840×2160.  A Class 10 or higher micro SDHC/SDXC memory card is required to record movies in the XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) micro SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps recording
  • [v] In Speed Priority Continuous mode.  Focus and exposure settings are fixed at first frame
  • [vi] Among fixed lens digital camera with 1.0-type sensor and tiltable monitor.  As of March 2019, based on Sony research
  • [vii] MIL-STD810G C1 Method 516.7 shock test onto 5cm plywood cleared.  Applies when LCD monitor is retracted
  • [viii] Sony test condition. Applies when LCD monitor is retracted
  • [vi] Wireless functions cannot be used underwater
  • [ix] When compared with DSC-RX0
  • [x] ISO 80, 100: when expanded.  For still shooting only
  • [xi] width x height x depth
  • [xii] Approximate weight with battery and media included
  • [xiii] Availability of video transfer and playback varies depending on smartphone in use
  • [xiv] For video shooting only
  • [xv] Add-on mobile application for ‘Imaging Edge Mobile’
  • [xvi] Angle becomes narrower than actual shot. The frame area of the picture becomes narrower than the original image. The movie footage can be rendered to up to Full HD quality
  • [xvii] Sound cannot be recorded. A Class 10 or higher micro SDXC or SDHC memory card is required
  • [xviii] Wi-Fi does not operate during interval shooting.  The latest version of Imaging Edge ‘Viewer’ and PlayMemories Home desktop applications is required
  • [xix] Not available during 4K video, FHD 120p (NTSC)/100p (PAL) video or interval recording.  DSC-RX0 and DSC-RX0M2 models cannot be used with radio control at the same time.  Depending on the specifications of the access point, smartphone, and tablet to be used, and the radio wave environment of the installation location, the number of devices that can be connected may change.
  • [xx] Refer to the following page for details of compatible Imaging Edge Mobile

  • [xxi] When using the CCB-WD1, please update your software to the latest version (Supported with ver. 2.00 or later.) Up to 100 pairs of DSC-RX0M2 and Camera Control Box can be connected, according to Sony’s internal testingAttachments area

Welcome to the NEW FV^VR and Australian Videocamera.

From February, instead of there only being one e-magazine, FV^VR / Australian Videocamera is now being split into 4 discreet editions, each smaller in size but aimed specifically at a particular market interest. This means you won’t have to sift through stories that have no interest to you, and only subscribe to the exact editions you want.

These editions are:

  • Social Media / Enthusiast
  • Short Film Maker / Specialist Videographer
  • Broadcast / ENG / Professional

Each will be approximate 18 by A4 landscape pages in size, with images, audio and video content.

Across these additions we have dedicated Calendar sections for Clubs, Short Film Competition promoters etc to details their information, pages for “how to”  with creating motion graphics and 3D modelling and animation, audio, lighting and a Quick Tips area for editors giving shortcuts and tricks for Vegas Pro, Premiere Pro, EDIUS, DaVinci Resolve, Pinnacle Studio and FCPX (with others to follow if the demand is there).

Of course there will also be reviews and tutorials of hardware and software.

In the first three editions we will have:

Social Media / Enthusiast (Due approx.7/2/2019)

Software Review Vegas Movie Studio
VR Corner VR Basics – setting up a camera
How To Series Clip Tagging and Archiving
Software Review ProDAD ERAZR
Hardware Review VUZE XR 3360 / 180 VR Camera
Audio Which Mic, Why and When
Smartphones Tips on shooting
Q & A Questions and Answers from Readers
Action Cam / Drones CASA Rules for Flying / Privacy

Short Film Maker / Specialist Videographer (Due approx. 14/2/2019)

Hardware Review Panasonic WFX1
Software Review KYNO Archiving
Software Review Teleprompter
Accessories Lighting Techniques
Plugin Corner Plugin Tutorial (DissolveMaster)
3D Corner Tutorial Series Cinema 4D
Motion Graphics Tutorial Series After Effects
Book Review Using Resolve 15

Broadcast / ENG / Professional (Due approx. 21/2/2019)

Hardware Review Blackmagic URSA Mini
Hardware Review Canon EOS-R *
Motion Tracking A Primer
Plugin Corner Sapphire
Industry Interview Grant Petty – Blackmagic Design *
Case Study TBA
User Interview TBA

*To be confirmed

The fourth edition will have generic content that is off interest to all groups, and we’ll advise of this content when it is finalised. This edition is slated for 28/2/2019

For the first three months, ALL editions will be free of charge. You will need to register to receive them (below), but all we need is an email address.

You’ll also receive our FREE industry newsletter, and go into the draw to win a fabulous Sony Cybershot DSC-RX0 camcorder.

After this grace period, each edition will be AUD$1.60 and subscriptions will last 6 months eg each will cost $9.60. If you would like ALL 4, then a discount will apply and all you’ll pay is AUD$19.20 for the 6 month period to get all 4 editions for that period as against up to AUD$38.40.

If you want any clarification, please email me at

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Subscribe to receive FREE FV^VR / Australian Videocamera for 3 months, our FREE newsletter and go into the draw to win a Sony DSC-RX0 camcorder!

EXCLUSIVE: Review VUZE XR VR 180/360 4K / 5.7K Camera

On occasion, we are lucky enough to get a scoop on a new product – in Australia at least. And we have one right now as we believe we have the first of the new Vuze XR 360° cameras anywhere in the world.

Over the past few months, we have tested a few different 360° cameras – the GoPro Fusion, Samsung Gear, Ricoh Theta V and 360Fly – and they all have their pros and cons we found.

The Vuze XR is different though, in that instead of a single top mounted lens (360Fly) or opposing fixed lenses (Ricoh Theta V, Samsung Gear and GoPro Fusion), it instead has a pair of flip-out F/2.4 210⁰ fisheye lenses that perform differently dependent on the way the camera is used.

When the lenses are clipped back (the default position), the camera is a true 360° unit; when the lens release button is pressed, the lenses pop out to the horizontal and the Vuze XR turns into a 180° VR camera. In both modes, it can shoot in various resolutions up to 5.7K (although your favourite video editor may not be able to handle this!) This resolution gives stills at 6000 x 3000 pixels!

VUZE XR VR 180/360 Dual Camera

The controls on the Vuze XR are deceptively simple. A mode button switches between the two modes of still or video, a Wi-fi button connects to a paired smartphone and there is a record button.

And that is it, meaning the Vuze XR is very quick to whip out and start shooting.

Storage is via a microSD card (not supplied take note!) and there is a USB-C port for connectivity and charging purposes. The cable is supplied as is a protective pouch.

(Take note Vuze; an external loop facility on the pouch letting you to attach it to a belt would be very handy!)

The camera “handle” has a soft, almost rubbery feel to it letting you grip it without any slippage. S standard tripod thread is in the base of the handle, and this doubles as a point to screw in a wrist strap. The Vuze XR is only available in black by the way. This is handy if you want to remain inobtrusive when shooting but a varied colour range might be attractive to some.

If you want more control over your shooting, the almost mandatory APP (iOS and Android) gives extensive control over video, photo, camera, wi-fi, application and camera settings. The only slight annoyance we have found so far is that the camera has to be “connected” via Wi-fi each time as against an automatic connection, We suspect that this is an Android issue rather than the app or the camera as we also have problems in this area with the Ricoh Theta V and some other devices such as our brilliant little Sony DSC RX0.

Using the app, you also have control over previewing video and stills, basic editing and even uploading directly to social media. On top of this, there are photo and video filters available, virtual stickers (if you REALLY must), ability to add text, colour correction and a track and follow mode letting you set the viewpoint adjustment (Vuze call this the “Director’s Cut mode), Little Planet, fly in / fly out effects and more.

In short, the Vuze XR app is one that every other manufacturer has a lot of catch up to do to emulate its functionality.

For the more technically minded, ISO ranges from 100 to 1600, bit rates up to 120Mb/sec are available with frame rates of both 30 fps and 60fps. The codecs used are MP4 and H.265. For audio, there are no less than 4 MEMS 48KHz microphones built in each recording an AAC track.

The footage shot on the Vuze XR is very stable; a 6 axis gyro system keeps track of all camera movement while shooting and compensates accordingly. Vuze claim the stability is so good, that the footage is more than suitable for playback in VR headsets, something we plan to try in the near future with our Samsung Gear headset.

There is also a desktop app supporting both basic and advanced editing and stitching for both 180° and 360° content. You can also live stream in both 180° and 360° and share directly to social media.

VUZE XR Desktop App

The Vuze XR is an amazing camera. In the short time we have had a play – and we are still coming to grips with some of the nuances when getting light perfectly balanced when shooting 360°  – it is by far and the best over any other on the market at the moment in our opinion.

If it has a drawback, it is that there is no water resistance at all, but a quick chat with Vuze tech support assured us that a waterproof housing is imminent. Hopefully it will not cost an arm and a leg as the one for the Theta does. The GoPro is of course already waterproof as is the 360Fly 4K.

If you want a cheapie 360° / 180° camera, at AUD$439 the Vuze XR is not in the bargain bin category to be sure. But it is $250 cheaper than the GoPro Fusion and a full $400 cheaper than the Ricoh Theta V. The Samsung is cheaper by around $200, but has nowhere near the functionality, capability and ergonomics of the Vuze XR.

This makes it a no-brainer in our opinion. Of course the pricing is a bonus over the quality of the content you can shoot and the versatility and functionality of the camera, app and desktop software.

At this stage at least, you’ll have to buy directly from the company – is the website for the online shop – but trust us, you won’t regret it.

FV^VR and Australian Videocamera’s Best of 2018 (Software)

Earlier this week we gave you our choices of the best hardware for 2018. Here now are our software choices. We’d love to hear your opinion(s), so please feel free to comment at the bottom!

Best Editing Software (Professional)

Vegas Pro 16

This was an extremely tough category to choose a winner, in fact probably the toughest. There were many candidates as you can imagine, and each had its strengths and weaknesses.

The runner up was Blackmagic Design’s Resolve 15 which has just about every feature you would ever want, has been around a long time and is therefore very robust (you rarely hear of issues from users with Resolve unlike other programs) and has the major advantage of being free for the general version as well as being available across platforms. Additionally, and to us this is very important, there is an honest-to-goodness book you can buy to teach you all about DaVinci Resolve 15.

So why didn’t Resolve win?

In truth, it was ease of use and flexibility that brought Vegas Pro 16 over the line. If it had been version 15 of Vegas, then Resolve may have scraped in, but the additions placed in the latest version of Vegas including Motion Tracking, support for HDR, High DPI scaling, LUT support, Dynamic Storyboarding with Timeline Interaction, the new Stabilization and 360˚ video plugins, a revamped and customisable backup system, brand new subtitling, and extensive new editing tools have allowed Vegas Pro 16 to leap frog other products.

Add to this the compositing capabilities meaning no third-party apps need to be brought into play, Bezier masking, audio mastering and the inclusion of BorisFX Continuum Lights, ProDAD Vitascene and DVD Architect make Vegas Pro 16 the all-round package for the serious editor.

On the support side there is a healthy number of Facebook groups run by knowledgeable people, and for those really in the know, the Creative Cow forum for Vegas has been around since day one of the product and there is no better place to go for help, tutorials and the like.

Vegas Pro 16 comes in a variety of flavours; the basic “Edit” version is A$299

Best Editing Software Consumer

Corel VideoStudio 2018

Where else can you get, for a miserable $79, a video editing package that supports motion paths and tracking, seriously good green screen and chroma keying, stop motion animation, track transparency, multi camera editing, great audio tools and 360° video support all in an easy to learn package?

Oh, and it does a pretty damn good job of basic cutting and dicing of video too!

Well Corel has managed to do just that with Corel VideoStudio 2018.

You can also directly load to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and Flickr, burn to CD or DVD and record your screen for tutorial creation.

It comes with hundreds and hundreds of freebies including royalty free music, templates, transitions and so on, is compatible with Corel’s PaintShop Pro (a worthy competitor for Photoshop just quietly), and well… it just works.


Highly commended: Adobe Premiere Elements

Best Motion Graphics

Blackmagic Fusion

Ha. No brainer you say. And you’ll be wrong. No, we did not pick Adobe After Effects, as good as it is, we agree, and easily the most supported package out there, with a million plug ins available.

No, we decided that Blackmagic Design’s Fusion was the way to go for a number of reasons. One, it is free. And that alone considering the power it offers should be good enough. But two, we also liked the “new” approach employed in Fusion of node-based programming as it gives a better overall picture of just what is going on as against wading through multitudes of layers.

It also now supports VR.

Sure, there is not the “apparent” user level After Effects has, but a troll around the webs suggests that this is growing rapidly, and Fusion has some serious notches on its bedhead with projects it has been used on, and people are starting to take note. And there is a heap of YouTube and similar based tutorials out there (although we would like to see a book such as that Blackmagic has for DaVinci Resolve).

If nothing else, you should give it a look; as I say, it is free and so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Highly Commended: BORIS Red.

Best 360 / VR program / plugin

Vegas VR Studio

This was easy as the field is still a little sparse. Regular readers will know we have been playing with Vegas VR Studio for a while now, and despite the slightly quirky interface, love it.

It has huge potential in the real world for real people to use, as against many of the other VR applications out there that need a degree in computer science to understand.

It works happily with all of the consumer based 360° degree camera available in Australia (Samsung, GoPro, Ricoh and 360Fly plus the upcoming Vuze), is not expensive, supports any web browser and can be used (and controlled) with a proper connection and a VR headset and is easy to use and setup.


Highly Commended: Mettle

Best Plugin


This was among the hardest category to choose for as there are multitudes out there and really, the value of a plugin is what you actually want to use it for. For example, Mettle (mentioned above) is excellent as a VR plugin, but no use at all if you after something that say, cleans up messy footage (where Boris Continuum Complete comes into play).

But for overall across-the-board usefulness, it came down to a battle between the Sapphire and Universe compilations. In fact, so good are they both, it was almost impossible to pick, and we chose Sapphire due to a recent updated to a 2019 version giving it the edge.

In truth, they are both worthy apps, and worth a look.


Highly Commended: Red Giant Universe

Best Image Editing

Photoshop CC

Due to the sheer volume of plugins and add-ons, an enormous user base, more tutorials, help forums and support than you can poke a mouse at and integration with other apps in the Adobe Creative Cloud family, it is hard to go past Photoshop.

There are other image editing apps out there for sure – Corel PaintShop Pro and Xara spring to mind – and these all do what Photoshop can – well mostly – but Photoshop has become like Hoover or Xerox, the default “name” for any sort of image editing.

This is not to denigrate the program at all. Just because something becomes the default it doesn’t mean it is the best. Except in the case of Adobe Photoshop, it is.


Highly Commended: Corel PaintShop Pro

Best audio editor

Sound Forge

The granddaddy of all audio editing packages would be a battle between Sound Forge and ProTools. I could stand corrected, but in my travels, ProTools seems to be used more at the studio level and Sound Forge at a more consumer one as well as studio. Either way they are both very powerful tools in the correcting, manipulation and “sweetening” of audio, and it is hard to pick between them.

Throw Audition from Adobe, the freebie Audacity and the newest one, Spectral Layers into the mix, and it becomes a very hard choice indeed.

We choose Sound Forge over ProTools – but only just  and mainly because of the excellent value for money (at $299) and you also get the fun ACID app thrown in for good measure.

By the way, if you are wondering why on earth we would worry too much about sound, remember, if you didn’t know already, it IS as important, if not more so, than the visuals. Turn the sound off on your favourite movie then try and disagree!


Highly Commended: AVID ProTools

Best Titling

NewBlue Titler 6

Most of the really good video editors of the NLE variety have some sort of titling app built in. Some are good, some are – well, meh – and others are downright horrible. So, we reckon everyone needs a really GOOD titling package.

The two standouts are NewBlue Titler Pro 6 and Bluff Titler.

They are both excellent programs, make no mistake, and if you are contemplating purchasing a titling package, a quick play with the trial version of both is a must in our opinion.

NewBlue Titler Pro 6 wins by a whisker due to its integration as a plugin with the majority of the NLEs out there.

The learning curve is a bit tough, but once you get “it” there is not much it can’t do. Another advantage is that NewBlue also has experience in industrial real time titling for live sports events etc, so a step up if you are in the “pro” ranks is not that hard to do.


Highly Commended: Bluff Titler

Best Scriptwriting

Final Draft

This was a two-horse race between the free Celtix and the well established Final Draft. And Final Draft gets it.

This was hard as this category is like Holden versus Ford, or Mac versus Windows. Both apps have major devotees who will probably never be swayed by the fact the other is actually a very good application for the job at hand.

So, I have to admit in this case, it is a personal preference to large degree. With Final Draft, I like the interface, ease of use and workflow it offers.

It is a little expensive if the wallet is tight and there the free Celtix summons like a siren, but the fact that so much script writing royalty use and endorse Final Draft strengthened my feeling that it is the better app.

Suffice to say that as in all our categories, some will agree, and some will not. The simple solution is to try before you buy, which you can in most cases, and see which suits your workflow best. We just happen to think it will be Final Draft in this case.


Highly Commended: Celtix

Best Music Generation

SonicFire Smartsound 6

I’d like to be very biased here and say for my purposes, the best music I obtain from my partner, Jacqui. And by all means, if you need some bespoke music, get in touch with her!

But failing that, I like SonicFire Smartsound 6. If you don’t know a treble clef from an alto sax, then this is the one for you. By purchasing base tracks that are very cleverly embedded with moods and other fancy musical things, you can tailor it so suit just the style and length you want.

Have a play with the download and sample tracks and you’ll see what I mean. Smartsound is sheer genius in my opinion.


Highly Commended: MAGIX ACID

Best 3D Graphics

Maxon Cinema 4D

This is another of those tricky ones where the proponents of each app in the running are adamant theirs is the one. In this case these are Lightwave, Houdini, ZBrush, Maya and Cinema 4D among others.

We have been involved with Cinema 4D since its inception sometime last century and we like it. A lot. It has matured over time, stayed affordable for the serious graphics artist, modeller and up-market hobbyist alike and is intuitive to use.

Cinema 4D is available on Mac and Windows platforms, and as the name suggests, allows modelling in all 4 dimensions – x , y , z and time. It has some very good tutorials available (we like the ones from Greyscale Gorilla) and the results are outstanding.


Highly Commended: ZBrush

Techsmith SNAGIT

Best accessory software

If there is one piece of software we simply cannot do without it is Techsmith SNAGIT. We were first introduced way back in 1998, and I have upgraded to every version since.

Our major use is getting screen shots for the magazine, website and lately, creating tutorials as it also captures video (although its sister app Camtasia is the king – or queen – for this if you want as really serious package).

There are many screen grabbers around, but over the years, having tried just about all of them at some stage, they are a bit like WinZip wannabe’s – they do the job, sort of, but you always go back to the Real Thing.


Highly Commended: Camtasia

Mocha. It works in AE, Vegas, Resolve etc. But what IS it and why would you use it? Here’s why…

A brief overview and explanation of the Planar Tracking technology that drives mocha software from Imagineer Systems.

mocha is award winning tracking software built upon a renowned Planar Tracking image engine. mocha follows “pixel patterns” through the most difficult conditions including objects that go off-screen, objects that are partially obscured, even out of focus footage. This technology drives our products and is licensed to technology partners.

mocha’s innovation has been to create a new paradigm for motion tracking that is faster and easier to learn than camera tracking and more robust and dependable than point tracking. mocha compliments post-production software including tools from Adobe, Autodesk and Apple.

learn more at:


NewBlue Announces Revolutionary Broadcast Graphics Solution: Titler Live 4

NewBlue, Inc. today released a new version of its on-air graphics solution, Titler Live 4, offering professional broadcast quality graphics and streamlined live production workflows at a fraction of the cost of competing systems. Titler Live 4 offers many user experience enhancements as well as numerous powerful new features.

table-fb-comment small.pngThis is the latest generation of NewBlue’s Titler Live product suite, which has a rapidly growing international customer base of live streamers and broadcast professionals. This release includes purpose-driven workflows designed to help save users time and provide intuitive, streamlined processes while still offering the power and flexibility that Titler Live users value. New features include Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet connectivity, additional variable/data input and editing tools, and enhanced social media management. Sports broadcasters will benefit from additional Stat Crew® statistics integration and new graphics packages per sport.

Historically in our industry, users have had two alternatives for on-air graphics: unbelievably expensive, complex systems or very primitive low-cost solutions.” said Todor Fay, CEO of NewBlue. “With today’s technology, there’s no reason why everyone – from major networks to YouTubers – can’t have a system that’s as powerful as their imagination while offering the ease of use and affordability that we expect of modern day software. That has been the driving vision behind NewBlue’s products. With Titler Live 4, we’re continuing to build on that foundation and provide our customers with even better workflows and expanded features.”

Titler Live 4 is available in multiple versions that are tailored to meet the needs of social streamers, sports broadcasters, and professional media organizations. The flagship product, Titler Live Broadcast, works with leading streaming solutions to deliver unlimited layers of graphics for any live broadcast on up to 16 channels of NDI® or SDI key/fill. Graphics may be created natively, or users can leverage existing 3D animated graphics imported from any design source, including Adobe® Photoshop® and After Effects®.

The Trip To Exmouth – Part 3 – How Do Grey Nomads and Cameras Fit In To This?

Map exmouth.jpgOn the recent Exmouth trip (with which the video etc is still an ongoing project – a crashed computer will do that to you), one thing we noticed, usually about every 5 mins while on the road, and in droves at roadhouses, way stops (for toilet breaks) and of course in the caravan parks.

Grey nomads.

Now I am not sure this term is not a little derogatory, as I am now – quelle horreur – approaching this supposed age, and I am certainly not grey, well not in my own mind! But the term has stuck, and no-one we came across seemed that fussed about being thus branded.

Now there has been reams written (look it up kiddies and millennials) and hours of news footage shot on the grey nomad phenomenon, much of it covering their driving habits. And some on their spending ones just quietly. Marketers take note …

This is not about that. (Although I will say one thing; if you are trundling along with your caravan at 80 kph in your brand new SUV 4WD truck thing then, a) note the speed limit for you IS 100 kph and your shiny new car and caravan are quite capable of that speed, and b) a queue of 5 or more cars behind you is a sign that you really should pull over and let them past. It’s not a question of rights, but courtesy.

So often we saw this, with the very worst being 3 SUV / caravans in convoy with just the right amount of distance between them precluding any attempt at overtaking. I counted 10 cars and trucks in the end all lined up, dutifully sitting on 80 kph. Lord knows how the truckies kept their cool as they are the ones so often (unfairly) maligned and it must have cost them heaps of time (and therefore in their case) money, before these good folk decided to stop at a lay bay, presumably for their morning cuppa and a chat.

Of Cameras and Camcorders

Anyway, what I wanted to talk about was not driving habits or road sense, but cameras, camcorders and by inference smartphones. It was gratifying, the number of people when they found out what I did who started to ask questions.

(Note, I am not a huge subscriber to using smartphones for serious photos or video. If you have nothing else, then fair enough, but you cannot beat the real thing).

How to shoot sunsets, best settings for a smartphone for photos, how to connect their phones to their Blue teeth in the car, and even simply, how to use the brand new Canon / Nikon (usually) dSLR they had bought just for the trip but had them totally stumped. One lady even asked about creating timelapse sunsets!

(Note: We were using the new Panasonic LUMIX GH5S on this trip – and just quietly, loving it!)

But the use of their brand new camera, was by far the most common.

And in most cases, my answer was the same; “Have you read the manual?” And in most cases the answer was the same; “I cannot understand it.”

Even the basics of using the dSLR – let alone camcorders and smartphones – in their manuals was just too difficult to grasp it seems.

It would be very easy to suggest that technical literacy may be a problem, but I don’t believe this to be the case. Many times, these good folks managed to set up satellite TV dishes on their caravan roofs in the places they visited and UHF two way communication is second nature for example. And when you think about, many were of the age group that STARTED with computers in the workplace, albeit with the likes of Lotus 1-2-3 and the first IBM PC or Wordstar and dBase II!

One thing I can say for sure is that for reasons only known to themselves, manufacturers make manuals way to small with the associated tiny print that goes along with that. Second, PDF manuals when on the road are a pain in the proverbial, and this of course makes on-line ones almost impossible to use. In short, manuals are no way thought about as much these days as they used to be.

And this, I consider, is a PROBLEM.

Crash Course

Having said that, here is a basic crash course in the terminology for those that are interested.

Aperture: How wide the lens (or as someone called it, they “eye”) is open. The wider it is, the more light gets in. Oddly, the lower the number  eg 5.6 or 2.8 say, the wider it is.

Shutter Speed: The amount of time the shutter is open letting light in. Think of an eye blinking if you like. Of course, then, the lower the shutter speed (in seconds and down to fractions) the more light is getting in.

It stands to reason then, there is a balance between aperture settings and shutter speed, right? On most cameras today, you can cheat and just set the camera to automatic, and the brain of the camera will sort all that nonsense out for you. But why did you spend good dollars then on a flash new camera when you could spend a fraction of the money and get the current version of the old “Instamatic”?

More on that later.

A lesser cheat is to choose an aperture setting (the big ‘A’ on the rotary dial on the top of the camera usually) and let the camera work out the shutter speed. Alternatively, select ‘S’ (yep, for Shutter Speed), after setting one, and the camera will work out the correct aperture. These are called ‘Priority” settings by the way.



But here is the kicker. The camera can only work on the info it has and is certainly not infallible, so these are guides only. Many times, they will work, but not in all circumstances, so be aware of that.

Most commonly is another wobbly that gets thrown into the system, one known as “depth of field”.

In simple terms, the wider (lower number) the aperture, the lower the depth of field gets. This means that objects close to the lens are in focus and those further away are out of focus. Close down the aperture (make the aperture smaller, with a higher number) and the “in sharp” distance is larger. And this is another case of the balance needed between shutter speed and aperture.

Is there a way to learn this? Why, yes, yes there is! I give you the unpatented David Hague Emu Bitter beer can method.

  1. Setup an Emu Bitter beer stubbie / can on a table in the open in daylight. Option: Open and drink first. Highly recommended.


  1. Place your camera, ideally on a tripod (when should you use a tripod? Whenever you have one) about 2 metres away. Set the ISO for 400 (more on this a little later, for now, just do it OK).
  2. Open the aperture to its widest – probably f8 – and set the shutter speed to 1/60th (or 125th in very bright sunlight) and focus on the can. (Why the f? Each setting is called an f-stop. Yes, but WHY? Since you asked:

The f-number of an optical system (such as a camera lens) is the ratio of the system’s focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil. … It is also known as the focal ratio, f-ratio, or fstop.

  1. Get a notepad and pencil.
  2. Take a shot, note down the settings of aperture and shutter speed. Review the shot in your camera’s pop out LCD (there is usually a ‘Play’ button marked as a right facing arrow head somewhere on the camera top or back. To exit playback, usually a half press of the shutter release will take you back to “take photo” mode.

Image 2.8

  1. Now, keeping the shutter speed where it is, change the aperture to the next highest, refocus and repeat Step 5.

Image 11.0.jpg

  1. Repeat Step 6 followed by Step 5, until you have reached minimum aperture (usually f22)

Image 22.0.jpg

You will no doubt see that as the aperture decreases in size (a higher number remember), the image gets darker and darker to the point that eventually, you probably won’t see anything but darkness. You’ll also note that as you refocus, more and more of the background, not just the Emu Bitter beer can, comes into focus.

  1. Now repeat steps 1-7 but start the shutter speed at 1/1000th and set the aperture to f16 and keep THAT constant. With each step, DECREASE the shutter speed to the next lowest through 1/500th, 1/250th, 1/125th, 1/60th and so on down to about ½ second. Don’t forget to take notes for each shot describing the settings used and what you saw in the camera’s LCD when put in playback mode for each shot.

This is the best way I have found to come to grips with the twins of aperture and shutter speed and become used to them. Eventually, as you experiment in real life taking photos (or video as the same principles apply except you may find aperture called “iris”) and take multiple shots with different settings of the same subject, rather than a one-off shot on automatic, it will become second nature to pick an average setting for say a sunrise or sunset and deviate from that average a little with a shutter speed or aperture change due to distance, bright light or some other factor. The same applies for shots over snow, in dull, overcast conditions, or with a water proof camera.

In other words, there is nothing in photography that is “average”. And it is the use of these combinations that causes creativity in photography – along with camera angle, light placement, framing etc of course.


Now before you are overwhelmed, let’s just touch lightly on a term I mentioned earlier, ISO. In the “old days” of film cameras, this was also known more commonly as “ASA” and is a measure of the film’s “speed”. The higher the number of the ISO, the more sensitive it is to light.


In Step 2 above, I suggested ISO 400, and this is a good setting to use for every day type stuff. If the sunlight is especially bright, you might want to knock it down to 200.

But why not increase the shutter speed you ask? Simple, because then you might alter it too much for the f setting, or going the other way, and SLOWING the shutter speed, may cause a fast moving object – a flying bird, jumping, breaching whale – to be blurred.

The drawback of ISO is that with the higher film speed, while being able to work in lower and lower light, a factor called ‘grain’ is brought into the equation. And ‘grain’ is exactly what is sounds like; the image looks grainy.

If you are mainly shooting every day stuff, I’d stick to ISO 400 and playing with aperture and shutter speeds along with focus to start with. You may want to up the ISO if say shooting at an outdoor night time BBQ, but as always, take a few test shots first with different settings to see what the results will be.

If you are after the ubiquitous night time star shot while parked in the middle of the Simpson desert, by all means have a play – after all that is what it is all about. A high ISO and L-O-N-G shutter speed with an appropriate aperture can get some amazing photos (and video) any pro would be proud of.



To summarize.

  1. TRY and read the manual. It really is worth it in the long run.
  2. Don’t be intimidated by your camera or camcorder. You own IT not vice versa!
  3. Don’t be afraid to experiment, it’s the best way to learn.
  4. Take copious notes of the shot settings you have used (when you get more conversant and confident, you’ll start shooting in a mode called RAW+JPG that will assist here as the settings are saved with the shot and you can view them later and even modify the shot in Adobe Photoshop or Corel Paintshop Pro and other image editing applications).
  5. At the end of each day, copy ALL the shots / videos from your camera’s SD card to a removable hard disk for safe keeping. Create a folder for each day. Label MEANINGFULLY.
  6. This means you can go through your shots at your leisure and discard the ones that didn’t work, and keep this that did, while still keeping the camera free to take more photos / video. One of my best mates, Ross Gibb is the BEST photographer in my opinion in this country for both motor sport and landscapes. During a V8 Supercar weekend, to get a handful of REALLY top shots, he can take hundreds if not thousands of images. That “lucky shot” really rarely, rarely exists.
  7. Make sure the files have been moved safely before reformatting your card!
  8. Always have plenty of spare cards to hand.
  9. ALWAYS make sure your camera is charged overnight. A spare battery is VERY useful.
  10. Invest in a tripod or failing that a smaller Joby Gorilla Pod tripod.

Finally, another good mate of mine, Peter Aitchison, once described the art of photography to me in a simple phrase – it is “painting with light”. Remember that; light is THE key, and if you apply that thought to all photos or videos, you’ll go ahead in leaps and bounds!

Oh, and send me your best shot and if we get enough, I’ll showcase them here (video too, just put them on YouTube or Vimeo. If you are not sure how to do that, drop me a line. I’ll put together another tutorial for that very soon I promise).

Get onto me via

Oh and don’t forget, if you want to win a RODE Videomic Pro + simply tell us what sorts of stories you’d like to see here? Is this one of them for example. And remember, “Equilateral” is coming soon!


EQUILATERAL is coming…

The prize list is starting to grow!

Most video competitions rely on you submitting a video of some description, but EQUILATERAL wants to also let the unsung heroes be a part of the fun, with their very own chance to win.

So, no matter if you are a  shooter, editor or scriptwriter, we will have something just for you.

The total prize pool to be split among the three categories so far includes:

  • FULL 12 month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud inc:
    • The entire collection of 20+ creative desktop and mobile apps including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and Adobe XD CC
    • Includes 100GB of cloud storage, your own portfolio website, premium fonts, and social media tools
    • Up to 10TB of cloud storage available (Call for details)
    • Value AUD$800+ *
  • 3 copies of Final Draft Screenwriting software (Mac or PC) (USD$199 each value)
  • 1 copy NewBlue Titler Pro 6 (USD$499 value)
  • 1x – one year subscription to Boris fx Sapphire (USD$895 value)
  • 1x – one year subscription to Boris fx Continuum (USD$695 value)
  • 1x – one year subscription to Boris fx Mocha Pro (USD$495 value)
  • 1x – one year subscription to Boris fx Mocha VR (USD$495 value)
  • 1 RODE VideoMic Pro + (USD$299 value)
  • Seagate Backup Plus HUB 8TB!! (Value AUD$400 approx)

Total Value to date = $USD5000!

… and still growing!


(Thanks to AdobeNewBlue, RØDE and BORISfx and Final Draft so far!)
* Note at end of 12 months Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, it is WINNER’S responsibility to cancel the subscription if they no longer wish to continue, otherwise you will billed automatically on a monthly basis.

Inventive Use of a Drone

Photographer Reuben Wu has taken rocky pinnacles and to  loftier visual heights – by adding halos to their craggy heads.

Part of his  Lux Noctis project, that lights rocky landscapes at night, these recent images add a unique creative touch.

To add the halos, Wu circles the already spectacular pinnacles with a drone, whilst taking a long-exposure using his 100MP PhaseOne XF camera.

Wu’s Lux Noctis documentary

For more of Wu’s work, be sure to check out his websiteInstagramFacebook, or Twitter.

With thanks to Edd Carr where I found the original story.


Ed Carr is a Yorkshire-born landscape photographer and nature writer. Having spent his youth in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, he takes any opportunity to don his hiking boots and head out, camera in hand. When not out taking pictures or hastily scribbling down his thoughts, Ed’s halfway up a hill out chasing after his dog, Hendrix.

A Bit of Time Spent Tweaking Can Yield Wonders

With a little bit of extra work, what starts out life as a pretty ordinary video can be turned into something a little special.

The average person with a GoPro for example, probably doesn’t have too much understanding regarding lighting, white balance, aperture, frame rate and so on, and therefore video shot can turn out a little insipid, with too many zooms, incorrect framing, lacking in saturation and brightness/contrast and more.

But we all have bad days and need to correct video that didn’t come out as we intended, even if all you wanted was a record of a family get together.

This footage was shot around 10 metres from shore in 1.5 metres of water at Hamelin Bay in the south west of Western Australia. A GoPro Hero 4 was used to get the original shots, but about 45 min of work added some spice to it and it has been transformed.

Brightness and Contrast were tweaked up a little, as was the centre of contrast position. Used here were the Boris Continuum Complete plugins for Vegas Pro 15. Next, the ProDAD Mercalli plugin was used to stabilise the footage (it was of course handheld, no selfie sticks allowed here) and smooth out any rolling shutter and other anomalies caused by the CMOS sensor used in these cameras. As the horizon was not an issue, there was no need to get that straightened.

Pan and crop was brought into play to perform some emphasis and close up shots on the striped fish, and key framing used to track the fish and keep it in frame.

Finally, the Sonicfire Smartsound plugin for Vegas was used to add a suitable soundtrack and the whole thing rendered out using the Vegas option to “Share Online” where presets are available for Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook (We prefer Vimeo over YouTube by the way). The uploading is also performed automatically – you do need an account on whichever service you use of course!

You could also pull a still off to use as a teaser to a clip on YouTube or Vimeo, for use in Twitter, Instagram etc..

Moira still.jpg

Whilst Boris,  Mercalli and Smartound are specialist applications, and have an appropriate price tag (although Mercalli’s little brother, ProDrenalin is available for as low as USD$29 and everyone with an action cam or drone should have at least this version) everything I have done here can be done in inexpensive packages such as Corel Videostudio, Pinnacle Studio , Vegas Movie Studio or iMovie. At a pinch, even Windows Movie Maker will have a crack at it most of these things. These are all basic tweaks that have a greater (or lesser) amount of control depending upon your editor.

ARRI launches large-format camera system

  • A complete new system: ALEXA LF camera, ARRI Signature Prime lenses, and LPL lens mount.
  • Intimate and emotionally engaging images with an immersive, three-dimensional feel, pulling the viewer in.
  • Compatible with existing lenses, accessories, and workflows.


ARRI has unveiled a complete large-format system that meets and exceeds modern production requirements, delivering unprecedented creative freedom. Based on a large-format 4K version of the ALEXA sensor, the system comprises the ALEXA LF camera, ARRI Signature Prime lenses, LPL lens mount, and PL-to-LPL adapter. It is also compatible with existing lenses, accessories, and workflows.

As part of the launch, ARRI Australia will be demonstrating the new ALEXA LF camera and the first release of Signature Prime lenses in Sydney at 6pm on 19 February at Sun Studios in Alexandria, Melbourne at 6pm on 21 February at Noisy Ritual in Brunswick East and Auckland at 6pm on 23 February at Thievery Studios in the CBD.

ALEXA LF camera

Featuring a sensor slightly bigger than full frame, ALEXA LF records native 4K with ARRI’s best overall image quality. Filmmakers can explore a large-format aesthetic while retaining the sensor’s natural colourimetry, pleasing skin tones and proven suitability for HDR and WCG workflows. Versatile recording formats, including efficient ProRes and uncompressed, unencrypted ARRIRAW up to 150 fps, provide total flexibility.

“The larger ALEXA LF sensor has the same optimal pixel size as other ALEXAs, resulting in a 4448 x 3096 image,” says Marc Shipman-Mueller, ARRI Product Manager for Camera Systems. “This doesn’t just add definition, it creates a whole new look—one that is truly immersive, with a three-dimensional feel. The various recording formats and sensor modes make this look available to all productions and satisfy any possible deliverable requirement.”

ARRI Signature Prime lenses

Accompanying the ALEXA LF camera are 16 large-format ARRI Signature Prime lenses, ranging from 12 mm to 280 mm and fitted with the ARRI LPL mount. While the Signature Primes exemplify state-of-the-art optical precision, they render organic, emotionally engaging images, gently softening and texturising the large format. A fast T-stop of T1.8 facilitates shallow depth of field and the smooth focus fall-off gives subjects heightened presence in the frame.

Thorsten Meywald, ARRI Product Manager for Optical Systems, comments: “The ARRI Signature Prime lenses are incredibly lightweight and robust, due to the magnesium lens barrels. They also feature LDS-2, ARRI’s next-generation Lens Data System. What has impressed cinematographers most, however, is the look. Skin tones are rendered beautifully and kindly, while all the detail of landscapes can be captured. Our focus was on the emotional impact of images, creating unique and pleasing bokeh both in the foreground and background.”

New LPL lens mount

Optimised for large-format sensors, the new LPL lens mount has a wider diameter and shorter flange focal depth, allowing the ARRI Signature Primes and all future large-format lenses to be small and lightweight, with a fast T-stop and pleasing bokeh—a combination of features that would not be possible with the PL lens mount. The LPL mount will also be available for other ARRI cameras and is being licensed to third-party lens and camera manufacturers.

Backwards compatible with lenses, accessories, and workflows

Although the camera, lens mount, and lenses are new, full compatibility with existing PL mount lenses and ALEXA accessories is a cornerstone of the system’s design. A PL-to-LPL adapter offers backwards compatibility with all PL mount lenses, whether Super 35 or full frame. The adapter attaches securely to the LPL lens mount without tools, allowing crews to rapidly switch between PL and LPL lenses on set, and offering cinematographers an unlimited lens choice.

“As always, we want to make sure that our customers get the best possible return on their investments in ARRI equipment,” says Stephan Schenk, Managing Director of ARRI Cine Technik and responsible for the business unit Camera Systems. “Providing compatibility with existing lenses, camera accessories, workflows, ARRI Look Files, lens metadata, and software tools makes it easier for crews to work with ALEXA LF on set and for rental houses to incorporate it into their inventories. We think the system sets a new standard for the future, but it also minimises redundancies and leaves no one behind.”

The first ALEXA LF cameras will be shipped at the end of March 2018. The initial set of four Signature Prime lenses (35 mm, 47 mm, 75 mm, and 125 mm) will be shipped in early June 2018. The remaining lenses will be available over the course of the year.

For more information, please visit:


News Flash! Australian Videocamera is dead. (Sort of). Long Live CreativeContent!

Australian Videocamera is about to change! As of January 1st, we will become Creative Content at

Here’s why… and it needs a bit of history to explain.

In December 2006 the magazine Videocamera, of which I was the Editor, abruptly closed.
Even I didn’t know this was going to happen – a subscriber who tried to renew found out and told me.

I was suddenly out of a job. Major bummer (as would be said in “The Young Ones”.)

In April of the following year, after lots of research in the art of physical publishing and all the necessary things that went with it that I had never been privy to, or even needed to know, I launched Australian Camcorder as a paper-based magazine, available on subscription and through news agencies, along with a supporting website.

Over the years there have been changes, the biggest being renamed as Australian Videocamera.

But time catches up, and Australian Videocamera, by name, now doesn’t reflect exactly what we do in terms of content. No longer do we just review video cameras!

There are editing systems to explore, motion graphics and special effects, audio, lighting, accessories and 3D simulation and animation programs to look at. Not to mention Action Cameras, 360º imaging, and of course drones. And in the new mix is photography with Photoshop, Lightroom and lots of still cameras. And anything else that goes into being a part of what makes “content”.

On top of that, we have become a sort of de-facto mouthpiece for the industry with it using us, to tell you, its customers, what the video, film and photography world is doing.

It is time for a change. And that change is Creative Content, our new website and a brand-new e-magazine to come.

This old Australian Videocamera website will be retained as an archive in a basic form and searchable. There are thousands of stories, reviews, tutorials, case studies and so on here, and that is far too valuable to let go.

But the new website will draw on all past experiences and be even better! And of course, I value everyone’s ideas and input to make it the best it can be!

Thank you so much for hopefully visiting and becoming a part of the latest journey!

So, come and visit us at

home page screen shot

The site is of course evolving as we build it, and all comments, suggestions and ideas – and criticisms are welcome. Just let me know via

DaVinci Resolve Now Available for the iPad in Australia from Today.

The long-awaited DaVinci Resolve video editing program is now available from the Apple app store in Australia.

DaVinci Resolve for the iPad allows creators to extend video workflows in new ways and new places. Optimized for MultiTouch technology and Apple Pencil, DaVinci Resolve for iPad features support for cut and color pages providing access to DaVinci’s award winning image technology, colour finishing tools and latest HDR workflows.

You can read more on the actual app here.


Review: Swann AllSecure650™ 2K Wireless Security Kit

This is not a camera story per se, but I bring this up as many folk who read Australian Videocamera do have a fair amount of expensive gadgetry and other stuff in the homes and home offices / studios etc.

Over the last few weeks, the local Constabulary has been advising us locally that there has been an swathe of attempted car thefts and nickin’ of stuff from unlocked cars that are not garaged and secured.

My Monaro is safely tucked to bed each night inside the locked garage, but the other car is kept parked out the front. The one drawback with the garage however, is at the back it is open to the world and there is a LOT of stuff in there, plus there would be easy access to the back shed containing the current build of the Hornby HO model railway that will one day get completed.

Sure, we have Dougie the Doggy, but he is inside at night so not much use there, I fear.

I have mentioned in the past that I have in place a number of Swann stand alone security cameras that sense movement via infra-red. Now these are all well and good inside the house, but outside is a different story. They record to internal memory you see, so unless you take the option of also recording to the Cloud, if one of the Beagle Boys actually sees it and simply trousers it, then it becomes of little use.

So, I decided to chat to Swann about an upgraded system that would fit the bill.

They came back with a suggestion of the AllSecure650 2K Wireless Kit, and after checking the specs and ease of install, that is the way I went.

The major advantages to me are the wireless aspect and the fact it records to a base station.

Let me explain. A lot of security systems use BNC cabling to get the video and audio signals back to a recording device, which really is nothing more than a glorified DVD player using a hard disk as against DVD discs. Smarter units use Ethernet cables in the same way you might connect a printer to a router, or indeed, even your router to the modem.

This means that you must manually lay cables between cameras and the base station (recorder) and this usually entails crawling through rooof spaces and drilling holes etc – or paying a licenced contractor to do that for you.

There have been Wi-fi based units around, but the major issue with these was getting power to the cameras; with the cabled ones, they draw their power from the base station via the cabling.

The 4 cameras that came with the AllSecure650 2K Wireless Kit use batteries to power them. I am guessing that Swann has been able to do this as battery technology has improved in leaps and bounds over the last little while. I have had these cameras in place now for around 7 weeks now and each camera still has over 60% charge in it which is excellent.

A very clever feature is that Swan actually supplies one extra battery for you and what makes this smart is that the base station containing the recording stuff, also doubles as a charger So this battery sits snugly inside its compartment snoozing away until needed when a camera yells out it is running out of electricities.

You simply swap them over and recharge the unhappy one.

The whole thing was dead simple to set up. Swann supply mounting brackets, screws and rawl plugs too, as well as templates for the drill the holes if you decide to go that way. You can monitor the cameras on an HDMI based screen if you wish – simply plug it in via the cable and choose an HDMI port on your telly you can switch to if needed.

Another option, which I have taken, is to install the Swann app on your phone and use that for 24-hour monitoring, with the app letting you know if the cameras have been triggered. You can then view the scene in real time on your phone no matter where you are, as long as in mobile range of course. And the app can reside on multiple phones too.

So, there you have it. A simple straightforward security system for a price that doesn’t break the bank – and might even reduce your insurance premium – that is simple to setup with little time needed to do so.

And here is a tip; for certain people, usually those on a pension of some description, there is a government AUD$400 rebate available, so maybe this is a good idea for elderly parents or grandparents for example as a Chrissy pressie?

Jus’ saying…

The Swann AllSecure650 2K Wireless Security Kit sells for AUD$1099.with 4 cameras or AUD$899 with 3 cameras. Extra cameras are AUD$269.95. These prices seem to be pretty stable between Bunnings, JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks etc.

The very LAST edition of Australian Videocamera e-Magazine. The end of an era …

… but no, it’s not the end, a new beginning dawns. If you read the editorial on page 3, all is explained in full detail!

In this edition:

  • Has Digital Taken Away the Skill
  • Shooting for the Stars: Astrophotography Explained
  • Tutorial: Manual Shooting and Film Processing
  • Drones: Another Budget Model from DJI

… and much more…

Download the PDF edition here, or click here to access all the back issues as downloadable PDFs.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via


Sport Replays During School Sporting Events

Lake Forest High School, located outside of Chicago, IL, uses the HyperDeck Shuttle HD recorder/player for sports replays during school sporting events.

Steven Douglass, new media instructor at Lake Forest High School, produces live streams for the school’s sporting events, including basketball and volleyball, as well as stage performances throughout the year. Productions exclusively use student talent as crew, from camera operators and announcers to technical directors and support crew, with teachers acting in an advisory capacity only.

Douglass employs a full system of Blackmagic Design cameras and equipment, including multiple Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K digital film cameras and Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 digital film cameras, giving each production up to eight live cameras as needed. The student technical director uses an ATEM Mini Extreme ISO live production switcher for switching, as well as the HyperDeck Shuttle HD for playback. Shows are live streamed with highlights turned around immediately for social media posting. While the setup is extensive, Douglass is always looking for opportunities to enhance the experience while keeping within a budget.

“Ever since I saw the HyperDeck Shuttle HD at NAB, I wondered how it might help us solve our need for instant replay,” said Douglass. “Most systems cost too much money, but the HyperDeck Shuttle HD appeared, and it seemed to solve our problems.”

While still a traditional HyperDeck broadcast deck with its ability to record and playback using SD cards, UHS-II cards and USB-C external disks, the HyperDeck Shuttle HD is designed as a desktop device, with a large search dial that makes scrolling through footage quick and easy. Incorporating it into Lake Forest High School’s system is simple; the HyperDeck Shuttle HD connects to the ATEM Mini Extreme ISO, which feeds the HyperDeck Shuttle HD a program out signal. A separate monitor connected to the HyperDeck Shuttle HD allows the operator to quickly scroll back for a replay and be ready to feed that footage back into the ATEM Mini Extreme ISO when needed.

“The ability to replay the program feed not only provides a key new tool for our announcing team and audience, but it also creates accountability for the production overall,” noted Douglass. “We tested it out with volleyball, which has minute long timeouts that need to be filled with engaging content beyond shots of the coach talking and the athletes listening. The replay with the HyperDeck Shuttle HD helps us engage the audience during these times and gives the announcers a moment to provide highlights during the pause in action.”

Using the HyperDeck Shuttle HD adds a level of complexity to the student led programs, one that challenges the young announcers and crew. “The downtime during timeouts is a significant challenge to the flow of high school live production,” added Douglass. “If we have slipups from students, who are maybe giving a little too much personal commentary, it’s during this time. With a simple replay system like this we solve that problem and add tremendous value. We still need to get more reps on this, as students without a lot of experience calling games are nervous and worried about what they are saying, so adding playback can be challenging. But we already know the HyperDeck Shuttle HD adds tremendous value for our audience during these high engagement events.”

Cranky? You Betcha!

I will not name or point to the review in question, but reading this tonight, as much as I respect the reviewer and like, and admire the person involved and have known them for many years (and have emailed them privately to transmit my disappointment at their review), it deserves a response.

I just read a review of a tech product that said it was (paraphrased) “perhaps OK for kiddies and seniors”.

Charming. I didn’t realise that as a “senior” (whatever that is anyway – is there a cut off point? I am 66) – that all of a sudden I became unable to understand something? Or that somehow, something perhaps mediocre was “OK”

I am fed up with people either suggesting that a) after a certain age (again whatever that is)  there is an inherent inability to understand technology or b) not accepting that OUR generation invented the stuff we cannot apparently understand!

You know, I was worried about “growing old”. I remember my first published article in the computer industry in PCWorld commissioned by the legendary Jeremy Horey that was a comparison between graphics cards.

I was 31 at the time.

In 2 days I am eligible (apparently) for the pension. Yay me!

But I am still learning and playing with tech, as do many people I know. So don’t DARE patronise my “generation”.

So no. now I do not worry about growing old and not understanding tech. In reality, nothing is really new. Just smaller, faster, more capable and hopefullly cheaper in terms of capability per dollar.

I can, as can many others in this industry I can think of, more than keep up with tech, review it and report on it, no matter we are apparently “seniors”. And many, many older users DO understand this stuff, so please don’t pigeon hole people by their apparent age or some other demographic.

Bah effing humbug. Cranky? You bet.

Shooting for the Stars. An Astrophotography Primer

I thought I’d stay on the photography theme a little while longer and touch on a subject I have been playing with off and on for a while now, and that is astrophotography.

I first approached this at the beginning of the millennium when I still lived on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. I had interviewed someone who as it turned out lived close by and was somewhat famous in this area of photography and videography, Steve Massey.

It Started With a Telescope

This got me all fired up and so I went out and spent serious money on a telescope and a film based Minolta SLR camera, and spent many happy hours shooting images and video of the Moon primarily.

When I moved back to Western Australia and down to the deep forests of the south-west of Western Australia, I upgraded the telescope and also abandoned the Minolta in favour of a Canon 5DS dSLR.

The absolute lack of ambient (and therefore interfering) light was offset by the amount of cloud we used to get, so the actual telescope time was minimal. And then a particularly ridiculous accident I want go into knocked the telescope and its tripod over rendering the focussing mechanism impossible to use.

Shortly after I moved back to civilisation 200Km south of Perth, and with COVID hitting decided to try and revive my damaged telescope.

The spare parts were available, but all things being what they were it took nearly 9 months to actually get them here!

In the interim, I discovered a little gizmo called the MSM, or “Move-Shoot-Move”.

And its brilliant.


A little bit of science is needed here to fully explain what the MSM does and why.

When you first get a telescope, you suddenly became Aacutely aware that the Earth moves through space, and pretty damn quickly at that. It first struck home when I finally managed to get an image of the Moon in the ‘scope that was nice and sharp. I had to go inside for something another – only gone a minute or two – and when I came back out, my image had gone!

Of course, the Earth is ripping through space at something like 500 metres per second or around 1600Km / hour at the equator. Hence the image of the Moon is moving across the field of view of the telescope at the same rate, so you get about a minute depending on the magnification of the telescope.

If you are lucky enough to be able to get, say Jupiter or Saturn in sight AND focus, then you have mere seconds.

But to get decent still shots, which require lots of light, you need more than this, so there is the dilemma.

You can buy mechanisms for telescopes to follow the earth’s rotation and also lock in on celestial objects, but this tends to get very expensive for the hobbyist

So, enter the Move-Shoot-Move (MSM).


msm-polar-aligned-side-v1-2The MSM is a small black box that mounts onto a tripod. There, that was easy.

But there is a lot more to it than that of course. You see, once it is charged up, and via various mounts, a camera attached – either DSLR or Mirrorless – the inbuilt motor rotates so that when you have locked onto a subject in the night sky, it will always stay in place as the camera rotates with the Earth.

You set the camera using either its inbuilt intervalometer or an add on one and set the aperture and ISO accordingly. If all goes well, you get shots like these.


An intervalometer is either an inbuilt function of the camera – and many have it – to tell the shutter to stay open for a specific period of time, beyond the normal 1/500th or 1/20th sec for example. To get shots like shown here, shutter times of up to 10 minutes or more are used.

The smart ones can also be set for multiple shots that are timed and other functions.

2022-12-14_16-26-48If your camera does not possess an internal intervalometer, go to your favourite camera store and ask for an external one that suits your make / model. An example of one I can recommend is the Hahnel Captur Timer Kit from  Leederville Cameras.

And while you can fluke it and get a great shot with a single image, those that are REALLY good at this stuff take many, many images of the subject in order to get as much data as possible, and then using specialist software, much of it free, “stack” these together to create a single composite image.

Polar South

Of course, there is a catch, sort of. You’ll recall when I stated the Earth’s movement rate, I was careful to clarify that this speed is “at the equator”. The Earth rotates at different rates depending on where you are, and so the MSM needs to be calibrated in order to get the exact setting.

In the Northern hemisphere this is relatively easy as they have a celestial body in the sky (where else I suppose?) called the Pole Star which to all intents and purposes is based exactly at True North. By calibrating the MSM, using a laser scope that comes with the system, to the Pole Star, you are good to go.

In the Southern Hemisphere we don’t have that luxury, and while there are ways to do this with methods using other stars, these are relatively complicated. So, there is a far better way, and it has added bonuses too.


2022-12-14_16-24-14I have mentioned the PhotoPills app before in stories, in order to calculate sun and moon rise times and locations in order to get the right positioning and timing to get specific shots.

But another piece of magic PhotoPills does is let you align the MSM quickly and easily to correctly set it for shooting deep space shots and stars. A combination of the inbuilt compass and a virtual reality overlay, with your smartphone attached via a mount to your MSM, lets you align perfectly to Polar South by simply lining up cross hairs to a central target.

With that done, you can then mount your camera, adjust the appropriate settings for aperture, ISO and the intervalometer and you are good to go.

In theory.

Final Tips

2022-12-15_15-21-30Of course, to get the perfect shot takes lots of practice and patience. I’d recommend a few things to make life easier.

  1. Initially don’t be too ambitious. Just get some shots to get a feel for what you are doing and learn what settings may be best. And make notes, or better, shoot RAW so the camera settings are embedded into the meta of each image
  2. To learn where planets, stars, constellations, asteroids, meteor showers and other stuff up there are, download a copy of the free program Stellarium for your PC, Mac, tablet whatever. It is absolutely bulging with information and can also create virtual skies based on locations and times.
  3. Get yourself a headband light that has the red-light option. This way, you’ll be able to see what you are doing but not stuff up your night sight.
  4. Use a decent tripod. The one thing you do not want to happen is for your camera to move in any way at all. I use a Miller Solo75 and can highly recommend it.
  5. The MSM is rated to a specific weight so this limits the lens you can use. Even my Canon 5DS with an 80-200mm is too heavy, so these days I use a Fujifilm X-T20 with a 16mm f/2.8 which is pretty close to what it appears the experts in the field use. But even if you have a base camera with a 28mm or something similar, you can still get some breathtaking shots.
  6. Apart from no camera movement (apart from that given by the MSM of course) the other thing that is imperative is focus. You must have your subject in absolutely pinpoint focus. Some cameras allow you to zoom into the image on the LCD for focussing, so if you have this use it. Otherwise focus to infinity but pull it back just a fraction. Some people place a piece of tape to lock the lens in place once they have that sweet spot worked out.
  7. Learn your camera. Shooting stars and planets etc is NOT the place for “A” for “Automatic!”
  8. Keep away from as much external light splatter as you can. The darker you can get it the better. Avoid streetlights, light from windows, car headlights and even the light of the Moon as much as possible.
  9. Look at as many YouTube tutorials, read as many online articles and so on as you can. There is always something to learn. There are some great tutorials on the MSM web site as a starting point, and you’ll also find some really good YouTube channels you’ll like. I started with this one.
  10. Above all be patient. Hopefully you’ll jag a great shot within your second or third attempts, but if you haven’t, just keep trying as when you do, it’s worth the wait and effort trust me!

Appear launches dedicated solution for digital satellite news gathering in A/NZ

Appear, a leader in media processing and delivery technology, has launched its X10 DSNG, tailor-made solution dedicated to Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG), in Australia and New Zealand. Appear is represented in Australia and New Zealand by Magna Systems and Engineering.

The X10 DSNG includes a switch module, with built-in satellite reception and ASI IO ports, that supports encoding and satellite uplink in a single, 1 rack unit (RU) chassis.

With increasing demands for live event coverage, the X10 DSNG is a compact, powerful solution that meets the very specific and challenging needs of DSNG and mobile production.

DSNG vans are often needed in conjunction with outside broadcast (OB) vans to support live production for large events. While fibre connectivity has become more widespread, or associated with live event broadcast, there are still many venues that do not have high-capacity fibre connectivity or require satellite transmission as a backup for fibre – which means DSNG vans still play an important role in contribution.

For DSNG vans, it is vital to have equipment that can deliver content via satellite or IP ports to support the use of satellite and fibre delivery simultaneously. Moreover, DSNG vans are generally small with very limited space. Equipment size and power consumption are important factors when selecting equipment for DSNG operators, and a solution which offers as much functionality as possible is a necessity.

Supporting both fibre and satellite delivery, Appear’s X10 DSNG provides all the functionality DSNG operators need for contribution, including encoding/decoding and satellite uplink/downlink, as well as integrated reception and monitoring of uplinked signals.

With the power to support 1G to 10G of traffic, the X10 DSNG features:

  • 1 x switch module with dual 1G IP IO ports, satellite demodulator and 2 ASI IO ports
  • 1 x encoder module
  • 1 x satellite modulator module
  • 1 x decoder module

Typically, this level of functionality is needed in multiple RUs. The compact, power efficient X10 DSNG offers:

  • Multiple channel support: Operators can flexibly define the number of channels to be encoded and decoded, plus the number of satellite modulated outputs needed. It can support encoding of 32 HD or 8 UHD channels with 4 HD or 2 UHD channels of decoding (for monitoring), while uplinking to one or two satellite transponders.
  • High-capacity streams: The X10 DSNG can support 250 streams ensuring it meets contribution needs.
  • Compression standards support: Common compression technologies and video protocols are supported, which makes the X10 DSNG adaptable to all operational requirements within contribution, remote production, video networking and distribution. With the modular nature of the X10 DSNG, additional compression standards can be supported through adding JPEG XS and JPEG2000 features.
  • Built-in redundancy: The X10 DSNG is designed to be as reliable and failsafe as possible, even when used stand-alone, thanks to its integrated modulator redundancy switch. Should an internal failure take place, a range of redundancy options can take effect to keep the chassis fully operational.
  • IP network security: The X10 DSNG has a high-capacity firewall feature that can monitor and regenerate traffic as required.
  • Future proof video protocols: Not only does the X10 DSNG have the ability to handle all commonly used video protocols, but the programmable hardware also means that it can support new standards as and when they are defined.  

Over the past year market in A/NZ has seen more remote productions and large-scale events take place than ever, which has thrust OB and DSNG into the spotlight and put more demands on operators.

DSNG has an important role to play and the X10 DSNG not only supports fibre and satellite, but with built-in security, redundancy and support for an array of compression technologies and protocols, it is a comprehensive, powerful solution that meets operators needs today and will continue to support them for years to come.

For more information go to:

Panasonic Connect Introduces the New PTZ Camera “AW-UE160W/K”

Panasonic Connect Co., Ltd. has announced that in the first quarter of CY2023, Panasonic Connect Co., Ltd. will release the AW-UE160W/K, a next-generation 4K integrated camera that achieves both high-quality shooting and video production efficiency, for customers involved in the broadcasting industry and the entertainment industry such as and live events, as well as video production.

This will be the new flagship model that pursues more unique and new visual expression by combining the flexibility of a PTZ Camera that can be freely set in position and angle with the functionality of a System Camera used in the broadcast industry. Panasonic Connect will also release the AW-SFU60, an optional software key to activate SMPTE ST2110 for the AW-UE160 series.

[Development Background]
With hybrid events increasing these days, the expansion of high-capacity and high-speed communications such as 5G, the increase in online communication due to the Covid-19, and the “popularization of video”, it has become possible for anyone to shoot, produce, distribute, and watch in any place, video experience, video content, and the situation surrounding it is changing drastically. Also, the demand for video continues to increase, and the video production industry, including the broadcasting industry, is always required to provide quality that exceeds the expectations of discerning viewers and to provide new video experiences, expressions, and effects that will not bore them with a limited budget. Under such circumstances, the shift to remote video production and operation using IP transmission is also accelerating, and it has become an issue to achieve both ensuring video quality and improving the efficiency of shooting sites.

To solve the on-site challenges in the video content market where such demand continues to expand, AW-UE160W/K is the industry’s first product, which combines the strengths of system cameras and PTZ cameras. It also has the industry’s highest level of shooting performance with unique video effects that can be expressed using a variety of shooting methods and a wealth of new functions provide viewers with new experiences, including immersive images from an unprecedented perspective.

With more than 60 years of experience in this industry, Panasonic Connect always listen to the voice of customers and will continue to innovate the future of video production.


1. Uncompromising shooting performance and operability.

In addition to the high sensitivity of F14 / 2,000 lx 4, equivalent to that of a studio camera, and the latest generation image processing found in LUMIX, the AW-UE160 is equipped with a newly developed phase detection autofocus (PDAF) that enables high-speed focusing and can also be used to shoot fast-moving subjects. The new PTZ is equipped with a variety of features that enable high-precision video production, including a new PTZ mechanism and hybrid image stabilization.

2. Realize next-generation video production with various shooting methods and functions.

The AW-UE160 is the first PTZ camera 2 to support the SMPTE ST2110 3, an IP transmission standard for the broadcasting industry, and wireless transmission with a 5G mobile router (via USB tethering). It also supports return input 5 and a rear tally lamp that can also be lit in yellow, which are essential for combined operation with system cameras. In addition, it is equipped with the cropping zoom function that can output multiple angle video with a single camera and 2x high-speed output (HD) from SDI/HDMI.

3. Ease of use and versatility reduces stress of shooting on-site.

Support for a variety of interfaces and protocols (SMPTE ST2110, Highbandwidth NDI® 6, NDI®|HX 6, SRT, FreeD, RTMP/RTMPS, etc.) reduces the burden of introducing the camera into existing systems. Even if output is performed from multiple video terminals at the same time, there is no restriction on video output, so simulcast operation in 4K is possible. Support for scene files, color matrix control and Panasonic’s free software and Remote Operation Panel (ROP) for batch management of multiple cameras makes mixed operation with system cameras even easier. In addition, the waveform display function and the horizontal level gauge display function reduce the burden of setting up and adjusting the video.

■Main Specifications

Product Name

4K Integrated Camera

Product No.



Pearl White(W) /Black(K)

Image Sensor

1-type (1″) 7 4K MOS×1

Optical Zoom


Horizontal Angle of View Range


Standard Sensitivity

F14/2,000 lx 4

Minimum Illumination

2 lx 8


HLG/BT.2020 support

Image Stabilization

Hybrid method of 2- axis Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.)
and roll direction Electrical Image Stabilization (E.I.S.)

Supported Protocols

SMPTE ST2110 3, SRT, High bandwidth NDI® 6, NDI®| HX 6, FreeD, RTMP/RTMPS etc.


12G-SDI, 3G-SDI x 2, HDMI, Optical Fiber 9,
USB3.0 HOST (5G mobile router with USB tethering) 10


G/L IN, XLR pins x 2


LAN terminal (RJ-45), RS-422, SFP+



Controller Supported

AW-RP150, AW-RP60, AW-RM50AG

Remote Operation Panel Supported

AK-HRP1010, AK-HRP1015, AK-HRP250

Dimensions (W x H x D) 11

213.0 mm x 277.0 mm x 240.0 mm (8.39 inches × 10.91 inches × 9.45 inches)

Mass 12

Approx. 4.6 kg (Approx. 10.14lbs)


* This specification is under development and is subject to change at the time of release.
1 As of October 2022.
2 As of October 2022. According to our research.
3 To use the SMPTE ST2110 function, activation with the optional software key AW-SFU60, which is sold separately, is required.
4 When normal mode is selected, F11/2,000 lx.
5 To build a system using the return video function, it is necessary to use the SMPTE ST2110 function.
6 NDI® is a new protocol developed by NewTek, Inc. that supports IP video production workflow. NDI® is a registered trademark of NewTek, Inc. in the United States and other countries. In this instance, NDI® is used to indicate low latency with high bandwidth NDI®, NDI®|HX is used to indicate high efficiency low bandwidth NDI®|HX.
7 Effective size
8 Conditions: F2.8, 59.94p, 50IRE, +42 dB, without accumulation
9 SFP+ standard (Single Fiber). This unit does not support input by optical signals.
10 Compatible with recommended products only.
11 Excluding protrusions, direct ceiling mount bracket.
12 Excluding mount bracket.

So you want to get into manual film shooting and processing? Here’s how to start and what you need.

Some things come at you absolutely left of field and are unexpected. This was one of them.

The other day I wrote a piece about the resurgence of film photography, and I have to say, the response has been phenomenal! So many people wanted to know how to get into it, what you need and what it might cost, as well as the techniques to actually process and print film.

So I decided to write about it. The hard bits first.

The Camera

To actually shoot on film, you need a film camera, right? That goes without saying, however as the starting point for your film journey, it’s not quite as easy is waltzing into your nearest camera shop and plonking down the readies on a new Fujifilm, Canon or Nikon film based SLR say.

Why? Simply because they don’t make ‘em anymore. What they do make are disposal film cameras that are designed to be taken back to them where they rip them apart, process the negatives and then digitally print off the resultant photographs, charging a price for the privilege. And its quite profitable too just quietly.

No, the way to do it says Lachlan from Leederviile Cameras, is to go to a reputable camera dealer, tell them your needs, level of expertise and a price range, and they will be usually be able to suggest a second model they have in stock that has been checked over and / or refurbished.

I would not recommend buying online through eBay or Gumtree in this instance as a film camera is an even more precision piece of equipment than a digital one due to the moving parts necessary for film transport etc.

Reputable brands from my experience include Minolta, Pentax, Olympus and of course the aforementioned Fujifilm, Canon and Nikon.

The model I started with was a Minolta SRT101 (pictured). I have seen a few around the traps in great condition for under AUD$250.

The other thing to be aware of is that not all film cameras are equal. Unlike a digital camera that stores images on an SD card (usually), film cameras of course use film, and the best to get is a camera that is 35mm compatible. But you see, if you didn’t know this, you have ended up with another film size based camera that would make the processing of the film and the printing much harder. These include 110, 120 and even 2 1/4 square.

The next thing to consider is what lens to use on the camera, and you are best guided here again by the dealer says Lachlan. You don’t want to buy a camera that has a lens totally unsuitable for the type of photography you want to do – and this applies equally to dSLR and mirrorless digital cameras too of course.

Film (or Fillum if you like)


A selection of Ilford monochrome film and printing paper

Now that you have the camera sorted, you next need some film. Unlike a digital camera where you set the ISO in the camera, with film, you buy the film that has the ASA rating you need for the job at hand. In case you are wondering, ISO replaced ASA but they are effectively the same thing, the name was changed to represent an international rating.

For everyday outdoors photography ISO/ASA 100 or 200 film will be fine. For sports photography I’d jump to ASA 400. Again, check with your camera dealer as to the best advice for which film based on your shooting circumstances.

There is also the brand of film to choose to consider. At this time, I am concentrating on monochrome (black and white), and to me, over many, many years of usage, I’d recommend Ilford film. Ilford has been around forever and so, despite the downturn in film usage over the “digital era” they survived so they must have something right, yes? Unlike say Kodak, who initially went bust. If you are thinking of colour, I like Fujifilm followed by Agfa by the way.

Again, unlike digital, film can also be bought in different emulsion, colour saturation and gran types. For example, Fujifilm has Provia, Velvia, Astia and Classic Chrome.

In the early days of your film experiences, I would basically ignore these side tracks and get used to shooting and processing film before getting into these finer points.

I’ll skip the nuances of shooting film over digital in this article – that’s for maybe another time. Suffice to say best start learning about aperture, shutter speed, using a light meter, depth of field etc. There ain’t no “A” for Automatic here folks. This is REAL photography!


The next thing then is to get the film processed; in other words, get the exposed film from the inside of the camera into a negative form you can use to make actual pictures.

This process involves chemicals, developing tanks, trays, water baths and a distinct absence of light! The last thing you want is to expose the raw exposed film to ANY light as this will destroy whatever is on the negative post shooting.

Developing Kit

An Ilford/Paterson film developing kit

I was lucky when I started as an 11 year old, as my dad owned a photographic studio and therefore had all the gear necessary. I asked Lachlan at Leederville Cameras what the best way was to get all the bits and bobs you need, and it turns out there are starter kits you can buy put out by companies such as Ilford and Paterson containing all the goodies you need, including comprehensive “How To” instructions for about $180.

In short, you process the film inside a light proof tank using set of chemicals. Once this is done, the film is washed and allowed to dry before the next process.

These kits contain a special light proof bag with hand holes that allow you to remove the film safely from its cannister and get it into the developing tank on a special spiral mechanism.


An EnlargerNow this is normally the real fun part; watching an image slowly appear as you hold your breath and see the results of your work for the very first time. Did I get the framing rate? Is it in focus? Is it light enough. Dark enough? Contrasty enough?

In terms of correct exposure, there are some tricks of the trade you can use that, in name anyway, have moved over to the digital Photoshop world such as Dodge and Burn.

But there is a small catch. In order to do these things in this way, you need to print the photo manually using a piece of equipment called an enlarger. This allows you to expose light through the negative and a lens onto photo sensitive paper. This paper (and it comes in various sizes depending on the size photo you want) is then subjected to a developing fixing and washing and drying process to get the final result.

And the catch? Black and White and Colour enlargers are almost impossible to buy new these days. My research shows they do exist but are usually a special order that can take months to arrive and for an unknown cost at time of purchase, being subject to variances in exchange rates, freight costs and so on.

So, we are back to the second-hand market again, and hopefully, also again, your friendly local dealer will be able to assist and advise accordingly. Brands to look for include Paterson, Durst and Leica units. A quick look at eBay found a few there and they range in price from $150 to just under $1000.

To do darkroom enlarging (yes, we are back to a dark room, but this time you can use a special red light so you can see what you are doing), you’ll also need an area in the dark room for some developing and washing trays and access to running water, plus the ability to string up a line so you can peg your prints to it to dry.

PlustekAnother easier, but nowhere near as fun, option is to get a negative scanner. This is an electronic device that reads your developed negatives and creates a JPG or TIFF file from each image which can later be printed on a good inkjet printer.

I have little experience of these so asked Lachlan at Leederville Cameras and he suggested either Plustek 8100 ($599) or Plustek 8200i ($899) models are the go here.

At least, they are a good starting point, and if you do get the whole manual film processing bug, you can get into the enlarger / printing thing later.


There is a huge satisfaction doing a shoot on film, processing the negatives, and then manually printing the shots. When you get to see that perfect photo gradually at the end of the process, there is no way rummaging a computer folder of hundred of images can compare.

I guarantee it!

Quick and easy just using your smartphone may be, but just as there is no comparison between a microwaved ready meal and a dish you prepared lovingly from scratch, so I don’t think you can beat this basic form of photography to its digital counterpart.

And seriously, it’s not that hard.