I have a crazy few weeks coming up. This week I will be filming at the Glastonbury festival, then next week I will be in Dubai for a workshop on virtual production with Sony’s Venice 2 camera. This will be a great opportunity for those that have never been to a virtual studio to have a look at how it all works and what’s involved – nad to see how Venice 2 is an excellent camera for VR thanks to it’s very fast sensor readout speed, frame size flexibility and wide range of frame rates. To join one of the sessions please RSVP to Omar.Abuaisha@sony.com
Cinegear expo will soon be upon us, it’s June 9th to June 11th at the LA Convention Center. I will be attending the show and helping out Bright Tangerine on booth 480. So do drop by to see their latest products, but also come by for a chat or to ask any questions you have about using Sony cameras in the field or anything else you might need some help with. Sony will also of course have a booth and they will have their own experts on hand, but it is always good to catch up with friends and readers of the blog.
Next week I will be giving a presentation on new tech including 8K cameras, stabilised cameras, lighting, colour managed and cloud based workflows that may change the way we do things in the future. Come and join me in London on the 12th of May at 13:00 at the Media, Production and Technology show at Olympia to find out more.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary Advanced Media of Dubai are holding a special event called Cine2022. This will be the first opportunity to get your hands on and see the beautiful images from Sony’s Venice 2 in the Middle East. I will be there to talk about the camera and it’s workflow and we will have a Venice 2 for you to play with. So, if you are in Dubai between the 17th and 19th of March 2022, do please come and say hello and ask any questions you may have about any of Sony’s Cinema Line cameras. https://www.amt.tv/all-events/cine2022
While Covid hasn’t gone away (and probably never will) at least thanks to the vaccines we are learning how to deal with it. That means the world is now slowly opening up to international travel. And that means more face to face events. So I am please to say that I will be attending the ProAV Expo event in Copenhagen on October 13/14th 2021.
Just a quick note to tell you that I will be co-presenting a session at the Kit Plus show in Twickenham on Tuesday the 14th of September 2021. Philip Bloom on the subject of “Buying the right camera IS important – don’t get sucked into the marketing hype”. We will be discussing how people make their purchasing decisions, what different manufacturers have to offer and debating – what does “cinematic” mean – if anything at all.
Come and join us it should be fun and it’s face to face!!
Sony will launch a new small 4K handheld camcorder – the FX6 on Tuesday the 17th of November.
To find out more about this new and very exciting camcorder you can watch the launch event via Instagram. After the launch event I am hosting a Q and A on Instagram. I’ve been lucky enough to have shot with the camera and have extensively tested it, so tune in to the Q&A to learn more. There is a lot to like and I am certain this camcorder will prove to be extremely popular. The Instagram session will be here: https://www.instagram.com/sonyprofilmmaking/
Then on Wednesday the 18th I will be presenting a webinar on the FX6 for Visual Impact in the UK at 11.00 GMT: https://www.visuals.co.uk/events/events.php?event=eid1748059180-892
Then once the initial launch dust settles I will bring you more information about this exciting new camera including tutorials and guides.
With some difficult times ahead and the need for most of us to minimise contact with others there has never been a greater need for streaming and online video services that now.
I’m setting up some streaming gear in my home office so that I can do some presentations and online workshops over the coming weeks.
I am not an expert on this and although I did recently buy a hardware RTMP streaming encoder, like many of us I didn’t have a good setup for live feeds and streaming.
So like so many people I tried to buy a Blackmagic Design Atem, which is a low cost all in one switcher and streaming device. But guess what? They are out of stock everywhere with no word on when more will become available. So I have had to look at other options.
The good news is that there are many options. There is always your mobile phone, but I want to be able to feed several sources including camera feeds, the feed from my laptop and the video output from a video card.
OBS to the rescue!
The good news is that there is a great piece of open source software called OBS – Open Broadcast System and the Open Broadcast Studio streaming software.
OBS is s great piece of software that can convert almost any video source connected to a computer into a live stream that can be sent to most platforms including Facebook and YouTube etc. If the computer is powerful enough it can switch between different camera sources and audio sources. If you follow the tutorials on the OBS website it’s pretty quick and easy to get it up and running.
So how am I getting video into the laptop that’s running OBS? I already had a Blackmagic Mini Recorder which is an HDMI and SDI to thunderbolt input adapter and I shall be using this to feed the computer. There are many other options but the BM Mini Recorders are really cheap and most dealers stock them as well as Amazon. it’s HD only but for this I really don’t need 4K or UHD.
Taking things a step further I also have both an Atomos Sumo and an Atomos Shogun 7. Both of these monitor/recorders have the ability to act as a 4 channel vision switcher. The great thing about these compared to the Blackmagic Atem is that you can see all your sources on a single screen and you simply touch on the source that you wish to go live. A red box appears around that source and it’s output from the device.
So now I have the ability to stream a feed via OBS from the SDI or HDMI input on the Blackmagic Mini Recorder, fed from one of 4 sources switched by the Atomos Sumo or Shogun 7. A nice little micro studio setup. My sources will be my FS5 and FX9. I can use my Shogun as a video player. For workflow demos I will use another laptop or my main edit machine feeding the video output from DaVinci Resolve via a Blackmagic Mini Monitor which is similar to the mini recorder but the mini monitor is an output device with SDI and HDMI outputs. The final source will be the HDMI output of the edit computer so you can see the desktop.
Don’t forget audio. You can probably get away with very low quality video to get many messages across. But if the audio is hard to hear or difficult to understand then people won’t want to watch your stream. I’m going to be feeding a lavalier (tie clip) mic directly into the computer and OBS.
I think really my main reason for writing this was really to show that many of us probably already have most of the tools needed to put together a small streaming package. Perhaps you can offer this as a service to clients that need to now think about online training or meetings. I was lucky enough to have already had all the items listed in this article, the only extras I have had to but are an extra thunderbolt cable as I only had one. But even if you don’t have a Sumo or Shogun 7 you can still use OBS to switch between the camera on your laptop and any other external inputs. The OBS software is free and very powerful and this really is the keystone to making this all work.
I will be starting a number of online seminars and sessions in the coming weeks. I do have some tutorial videos that I need to finish editing first, but once that’s done expect to see lots of interesting online content from me. Do let me know what topics you would like to see covered and subject to a little bit of sponsorship I’ll see what I can do.
Stay well people. This will pass and then we can all get back on with life again.
I’ll be running a couple of FX9 workshops in Denmark. The first in Copenhagen on March 3rd and the second in Viborg on April 2nd.