Media Stuff I Learnt Over the Last Few Days

Kayak stuff next week - including me selling two Cetus sea kayaks for a great price.

This is for video / film-makers and is stuff I didn't know on Monday befor emy trip to Broadcast Video Expo.

Look at that photo. The woman newsreader, in a virtal set, is controlling everything; play-in, live sources, captions, from the desk in front of her.

What appears onscreen is above her, partially hidden by the suspended 'wide shot' camera.

When I first started it was a big deal to read the regional breakfast news and cut between my camera and slides (yes, 35mm slides) by myself.

We glued a lego brick onto the camera button to find it without looking. The photo is below.

OK - my bullet points from BVE.

* The GoPro Hero gets a wifi-back in the UK in March - transmitting 'live' pictures to your iPhone and offering some level of control.

* UK radio mic frequencies have been sold off to TV so don't buy a cheap old one on e-bay and expect it to work after December. If it can get up to Ch70 (863-865) you can still use that but interference is likely. Digtal radio mics are way better but start at £2,500 (!)

* Editing. Final Cut Pro-X is not as bad as I had feared, but I'm not yet tempted to switch.

* Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium looks outstanding. The way all applications work together and especially, handle different file types. Video doesn't have to be 'converted' to a timeline. The timeline is dynamic, and runs any format or frame rate. Conversion happens on export. A new version is coming soon but it might not be an upgrade - it might be a stand-alone, so not worth buying a 'cheap' 5.5 and upgrading.

* Queue early for seminars, but even then you might not get in. My God it was crowded. Next year BVE switches location so hopefully they give more space to the seminars. The photo shows a little of the overflow.

* Camcorders. The Panasonic HPX 250 E3 is BBC approved and a rival to the Canon XF 300/305.

It achieves BBC approval running at 100Mbps (so uses double the hard drive space on edit) and records onto expensive (32GB=£400) P2 cards. What I liked least was the sloooowww auto focus.

The Canon XF300/305 is the go-to camera for my type of broadast work recording onto CF cards (32GB=£96) . I was going to buy the 300, which has fewer connectors than the 305 and is £600 cheaper. But those connectors allow recording to external drive (Atomos Ninja £700) and that could be very useful in the future.

Warning - There are grey imports for sale online at prices as low as £4200. Despite what those sellers say, Canon will not cover these supposedly 'worldwide' guarantees. Buy a far-east camera in the far-east, then it's covered for UK repair. Buy a far-east camera in the UK and it's not.

* Despite gentle pushing, Sony gave no hint of a 50Mbps 4:2:2 camera that would meet BBC HD approval.

* Small second cameras. For kayaking I still like the water-resistant Sony HXr NX70E. Rivals are the Canon XF100/105 or the very tiny Canon XA10.

* Trainers. For cameras, including very good advice about which camera suits which type of work, I was impressed with presentations given by and they have a good website - worth browsing. You can find all the slides from their presentations here. For editing Maxim Jago seems damn good on Avid or Adobe.

* New Apple MacBook Pro? I am considering buying a new MacBook Pro, but a couple of resellers steered me away from the purchase right now. Rumours of a new shape (form factor) are circulating, and the new one might be closer to the MacBook Air.

Things change. As this photo of me as a newsreader, operating my own buttons, shows only too well.

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