Videography


When I was in my late teens I was very much interested in the work of Gerry Anderson, namely Thunderbirds, but also UFO and Space 1999. I also became interested in film and when I was 16 (in 1978) purchased my first cine outfit comprising of a silent colour super8 camera and projector. This gave me lots of fun and I made several basic films covering local events and what our local area looked like before modernisation. I later part exchanged this kit for a projector and camera that also recorded sound. However the increasing cost of the film and its processing meant that the interest wained and the equipment was sold on to a relative.

My next venture into making films was back in 1986 when I purchased my first video camera. It was a sony 8mm that cost just under £900 and by modern standards was fairly basic functions. That camera gave me years of fun, but editing on a domestic VCR was hard and I often did no more that simple "home movie" type footage that was dumped straight to VHS. A few years later in the mid 1990's I replaced the camera with a new one, this time upgrading to Hi8. Around this time the average home PC was becoming fast enough, with decent capacity hard drives that nonlinear digital editing on a PC at home was a possibility. Iomega launched the Buzz, and this was my first capture device I purchased.

Moving on, I ventured into the wonderful world of DV in 2002 when I purchased my first miniDV camera when my 3rd child was born. The JVC175EK was (and still is) a fantastic camera and has given us years of enjoyment recording events including my brother-in-law's wedding. I then went on to purchase a Panasonic 3CCD camera (GS65) which I hoped to use for some serious video work around my other interests and making some fishing videos or one on RC models.

In 2017 I upgraded my complete video equipment, including a new PC as outlined below. My camera is now capable of recording in 4K UHD and the PC is able to process the large files that are produced.

 

My Cameras

The first DV camera I purchased was the JVC 157EK from my local branch of Dixon's (no no longer on the high street) back in 2002. The only thing that is lacking from this camera is an external microphone socket. This was only a problem for me when I wanted to get better sound when doing interviews etc, so the camera was mainly used for recording holidays, events or day trips.

 

My second camera was the GS65 from Panasonic. With 3CCD's the sharpness of the picture and definition is remarkable. The camera also has an accessory shoe, external microphone and headphone sockets making it ideal for interview use. The only drawback, which I discovered after I purchased it, is that it doesn't support 16:9 aspect wide screen. The camera has letterbox mode which simply masks the top and bottom of the image to appear wide screen. It doesn't change the pixel ratio so that you get true aspect ratio. The strange thing is that the JVC has this option, so if 16:9 is crucial I use the 157EK for filming. Other than that, I'm more than happy with the camera, and just need to find the time to do some serious filming.
My latest camera purchased in 2017 is the HC-VX870 from Panasonic. A full 1920 x 1080P @ 50 frames per second, with the ability of recording in full 4K HD resolution @ 25 frames per second. It has a lot of features, including headphone socket, microphone socket, HDMI & USB, and records to SD cards.

Editing

My first editing PC used to be an Athlon XP2800+, however this was then upgraded to a dual core pentium running at 2 Ghz, with 4GB of fast RAM. This has made a huge difference in the processing time to render a video using Media Studio Pro. In 2011 the PC was again upgraded to an AMD FX6300 with 16GB of DDR3 RAM. However due to the move towards HD and UHD 4K the old FX machine couldn't cope with the huge file size, so in 2017 I replaced the PC with a new build based on an AMD Ryzen 5 1500X, with 16GB DD4 Ram and a NVme SSD - So far this is proving very acceptable. I now edit using PowerDirector 15 although I've also used Resolve and HitFilm Express.

Most of my videos can be seen on my YouTube Channel