Friday, 25 April 2014

Blackmagic Power Solutions

By now everyone is well aware of the Blackmagic camera's and the various pros and cons surrounding each model and while the cameras are akin to Marmite for many their affordability is undeniable whether you love them or hate them. Here at Planet PC we receive a lot of enquiries about the complete Blackmagic range but one of the more common questions we get asked by customers purchasing the original 2.5K/4K/Pocket Camera models is "What about battery options?"

One such customer was Mark from Spart Media who recently invested in a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (4K version). Mark was well aware of the limitations of the Cinema Camera's internal battery and needed a solution to enable him to cover a full day's filming. Luckily we were on hand to offer help and advice and managed to supply Mark with an excellent power solution which means he can now concentrate on getting the shots that count without worrying about losing power mid-shoot.

For anyone who's wondering, Mark's solution eventually consisted of some great equipment from PAG who are a highly innovative British company specialising in the manufacture and design of highly innovative power solutions. We'll be talking more about them shortly but before we do here's a look at some more great power solutions for the Blackmagic Cameras which are all based around high capacity V-Lock batteries.

Alot of our customers like V-Locks due to the fact that they either already own some or like the fact that V-Locks can be used to power everything from lights to cameras and everything in between. It's this versatility which means V-Lock batteries are pretty much essential for anyone working in the field who either wants to shoot for long periods of time, has a lot of on board gear or needs to use additional equipment such as lighting where mains power is simply not an option.

If value for money is what you're looking for we'd recommend taking a look at Swit batteries here which are a great alternative to some of the more expensive brands such as IDX. These are ideal for anybody on a budget who requires all the advantages of using a V-Lock system without breaking the bank. We particularly like the fact that Swit produce a range of Dual/Quad channel chargers which feature built in XLR outputs and are capable of recognising the type of battery being charged. For more information visit the Swit website here.

Along with Swit many of you will be familiar with the IDX range which are a very popular (although more expensive) alternative. Check out the IDX website here to view the full range - they do a lot more than just batteries! For anybody looking at one of the 2.5K/4K cinema cameras we'd recommend taking a look at the IDX BCC-CP(A) (BCCCP-A) Blackmagic Cinema Power Kit. Admittedly the name is a bit long winded but the kit itself is an excellent bundle which along with the V-Lock adapter also includes a versatile cheese plate which is compatible with standard 15mm rods. We particularly like the fact that the V-Lock adapter has the power cable built into it which means there's no need to purchase an additional cable which can cost upwards of £30.00 (ex vat). The battery adapter also features an additional D-Tap outlet which is ideal for powering other accessories at the same time.

For anybody using a Blackmagic Pocket Camera it might be worth taking a look at the Wooden Camera WC V-Mount here. This also features a built in cable (although not the longest) and has a built in D-Tap outlet. Unlike the IDX solution just mentioned this doesn't include the cheeseplate which will be required if you want to mount your battery on a rig but we still think it's an excellent solution all the same.

Wooden Camera provide an excellent range of power solutions for the Blackmagic cameras and it's worth noting that if you're considering a Blackmagic Camera and you've already got V-Locks many of the batteries themselves feature a D-Tap out so there's no reason why you can't simply purchase the relevant cable depending on which camera you're looking at. With this in mind remember to give some consideration to which accessories you might want to use and ultimately provide power for. Most V-Lock adapters nowadays feature a D-Tap outlet but if your batteries don't then you'll be limited to just one which might be an issue.

The PAG PL96T - Who's in charge?
After discussing the various options with us our customer Mark chose to go with the PAG system which consisted of two PAGlink PL96T Batteries, the PAG Micro Charger (probably the smallest V-Lock charger we've ever seen), a PAG V-Mount battery plate and a custom D-Tap power cable. As somebody who travels often (Mark is currently away filming in Japan) portability and efficiency was of paramount importance to Mark and something which this PAG solution provides in spades.

The PAG PL96T batteries are also some of the most intelligent batteries we have come across and along with featuring LED displays which show run time/capacity these high capacity batteries also comply with United Nations Standards which means they're suitable for air transport in hand luggage - something which was also essential for Mark. Where these batteries really shine is when they come together (literally) using the PAGlink system. This allows these batteries to be piggy-backed onto each other which enables them to act as one larger battery, with the option to connect up to eight! The batteries communicate with each other to control charge/discharge and when you combine this with the fact that connected batteries can all be charged from one charger at the same time you really do have one of the best battery systems out there!

PAG Batteries - Well Stacked

Obviously all the equipment discussed just now is compatible with a lot more than just the Blackmagic Cameras but for anyone who's already gone or is considering going this route we hope some of the options discussed will come in useful. If you'd like to discuss power solutions or anything else related to video broadcast technologies check out our website here or give our sales team a call on 01274 713400.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

NAB Highlights

For manufacturers it's the ultimate opportunity to showcase existing tech and unveil often revolutionary new products. For consumers it's the chance to check out the latest and greatest the industry has to offer. Unfortunately it's all over now until next year and chances are if you've returned from NAB recently you're still recovering from jetlag but judging by the amount of announcements this year (and the fact it's in Las Vegas!) we're sure jetlag is a small price to pay.

Whether or not you've been to NAB previously, everyone knows that what is undoubtedly the biggest broadcast show in the world is full of surprises. This year has been no different and so far we've had a whole host of exciting announcements from the likes of AJA, Blackmagic, Atomos and Teradek just to name a few.
Blackmagic Announce New Cameras, Film Scanner and More!

By now people are used to Blackmagic announcing a camera at NAB and it's understandable that expectations were high this year. Blackmagic didn't dissapoint and have announced not one but two new cameras in the form of the Blackmagic Studio Camera and the Blackmagic URSA. These latest additions complement Blackmagic's existing range of affordable cinema cameras and we have no doubts that there will be a long line of customers waiting to get their hands on one.
The Blackmagic Studio Camera & Blackmagic 4K URSA
The Blackmagic Studio Camera
The Blackmagic Studio Camera features the worlds largest viewfinder and builds on from the previous 2.5k and 4k Cinema Cameras. This latest addition is designed with live production in mind and along with it's massive 10" viewfinder features increased battery life, built in talkback, tally indicators, phantom powered XLR connections and professional optical fibre/SDI outputs. The camera includes a sunshade along with an MFT lens mount and is cable of recording in Ultra HD. What's more, the camera can also be controlled remotely via one of Blackmagic's ATEM switchers and has DaVinci Resolve colour correction built in! The camera is available in two versions - the HD version (£1275.00 ex vat) and the Ultra-HD version (£1895.00 ex vat).
As if one new camera wasn't enough Blackmagic have taken things a step further and launched a high end digital film camera in the form of their brand new URSA!
The Blackmagic URSA
Capable of recording in 4K and designed with the intention of simplifying productions this camera features a 10" fold out LCD monitor, 12G-SDI, dual RAW/PoRes recorders, liquid cooling and two touch screens for complete control. Sound guys will be pleased that Blackmagic have included volume meters and manual gain controls while readers will also be pleased to know that Blackmagic have futureproofed the camera by including a removable sensor/lens mount assembly! At the moment the URSA is available in two versions - the EF (£3785.00 ex vat) and the PL (£4095.00 ex vat) although both models aren't expected to ship until July 2014. Blackmagic are also due to release two more versions of the URSA - one aimed specifically at broadcast professionals which will feature a B4 lens mount, enhanced lens controls and a built in ND filter wheel and a second HDMI version which will feature a 4K input and the ability to connect any HDMI camera. Just like Blackmagics previous cameras these new ones also include DaVinci Resolve for free!
The Cintel Film Scanner - Not Just a Pretty Face
The Blackmagic Cintel Film Scanner
You might think we've heard enough about Blackmagic for now but that's where you'd be wrong. As a company who have announced so much this year it would be a shame not to mention the other goodies Blackmagic have brought to the table - one of which is the Cintel Film Scanner. Blackmagic have teamed up with Cintel to produce a real-time scanner capable of scanning 35mm and 16mm film up to 30fps in Ultra HD. This is great news for anyone who wants to unlock the beauty of old film such as 35mm which is natively 4K or those who still choose to use film today.
Designed to hang on a wall and with a 2000 foot capacity the Cintel Film Scanner also features Thunderbolt 2 technology meaning films can be scanned directly into colour-correction software and saved as a digital format quicker and easier than ever before, although with a pricetag of £18145.00 (ex vat) it isn't cheap!
It's certainly fair to say Blackmagic have been busy and if new cameras and the Cintel aren't your cup of tea then fear not because Blackmagic have also Launched a new version of their much loved Teranex in the form of the Teranex Express which features 12G-SDI and real time SD, HD and Ultra HD standards conversion which at £845.00 (ex vat) is an absolute bargain when you consider how much the original Teranex technology cost when it was developed for Lockheed Martin (About £60k for anyone wondering!)
New Streaming Wizardry from Teradek!
Wireless wizards Teradek never fail to dissappoint (unless you sell cables) and this year they've announced some great gadgets we can't wait to get our hands on.
New Bolt Transmitters/Receivers
Those of you familiar with the Bolt Pro will be pleased to know that Teradeck have announced brand new versions of their Bolt Pro transmitters and receivers in the form of the

300TX/RX, 600TX/RX and 2000TX/RX. These newest transmitters/receiver feature both HDMI and 3G-SDI connections and a redesigned chasis which runs coller than previous versions. The Bolt Pro 300  receivers are also completely silent and the 600/2000RX feature an LCD screen for monitoring your wireless link. 


Here at Planet PC we like the fact that the 600/2000TX can be augmented with higher gain antennas for increased stability  but were particularly impressed by the fact that the Bolt Pro 600/2000 receivers feature Teradek's GRAB technology which means they can be used as the world's first wireless capture cards. This technology enables users to monitor while using a computer to ingest at the same time with zero delay.

The T-Rax
Teradek's T-Rax

With a name like a dinosaur who wouldn't take notice of Terak's latest rack mount solution? Built like a tank and measuring 2RU the T-Rax is fully customisable and allows users to connect up to 8 hot-swappable cards consisting of various Teradek hardware. The system has also been future proofed to be compatible with H.265 technology and features a 2.8" display.
Serving a Purpose
Teradek Serv

Here at Planet we're big fans of anything which integrates well with existing technology so it was understandablle that we we're impressed with the Teradek Serv. This little black box plugs into the back of a camera and allows the user to transmit real-time video to up to 10 smartphones/tablets at the same time. Even better is the fact that the Serv works with Teradek's free TeraView iOS application which means it's possible to view up to 4 individual Serv/Cube streams on one device at the same time - ideal for multi-camera set-ups!

Atomos Launch New Monitoring/Recording Gadgets!

It's sometimes easy to forget that Atomos is a company which started life around only four years ago which is surprising when you consider how much many of us take products like the Ninja's or Samurai's for granted. What shouldn't be surprising is the fact that Atomos have impressed us yet again by announcing even more additions to their already outstanding range.

The Shogun - Built for 4K
Atomos Shogun

The Shogun sits alongside it's older brothers the Samurai and the Ninja and is an excellent addition for anybody using a 4K workflow. Featuring a 1920x1080 screen and a super-slim design the Shogun is certainly a sleek looking thing and has been designed to work with 4K cameras such as the Sony FS700 or the new Panasonic GH4. The Shogun is capable of recording in both RAW and Apple ProRes and features 12G-SDI along with 4K HDMI. The Shogun is essentially a deck and a recorder aimed at those working with higher resolutions and features a built in waveform/monitor assist tools to allow the user to perfectly balance shots.

Atomos Ninja Star

Light Enough for Flight!
This pocket sized gadget is designed to add existing functionality to consumer level MPEG camcorders and with a weight of just 100g and measuring only 3 inches the Ninja Star is the world's lightest ProRes recorder. The Ninja Star uses CFast cards and is a great solution for increasing the recording time of an action cam such as a GoPro or recording better footage from a DSLR.

More Storage Solutions from G-Tech!

Your Mac's Best Friend?
G-SPEED Studio and G-RAID Studio

Users of the newest Mac Pro will be interested to see that G-Tech have launched the G-SPEED Studio - a hardware RAID solution which not only looks the part but also features  Thunderbolt 2 technology which means it is lightning fast with transfer rates of up to 700MB/s. This latest offering from G-Tech features up to 24TB of storage and is configurable in RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10. The system also features a second Thunderbolt 2 port for daisychaining. 

Foot-Pedal not included
The G-RAID Studio is a new two drive system which also features the latest Thunderbolt 2 technology and is configurable in RAID 0, 1 or JBOD. With two removable 7200RPM hard drives and a maximum capacity of 12TB this system is aimed squarely at serious media professionals and while the G-RAID Studio isn't as fast as it's bigger brother it's still pretty fast with transfer speeds of up to 360MB/s.
These highlights are just a few of our favourites from this year's NAB show and no doubt there will be many more to come throughout the course of the year. All the products discussed are on our website here so feel free to stop by and take a look if you get a minute. Alternatively give our sales team a call on 01274 713400.

Friday, 28 March 2014

New Mac Pro? Consider these Accessories...

Anybody out there who's serious about video editing will have by now given some thought to the new Mac Pro's and if you've already got your hands on one then chances are you'll be well aware of the issues outlined below.
For those of you who are still considering investing there's a few things you'll need to consider in order to get the most of this lightning fast machine.
First things first - the new Mac Pro is unlike any other workstation.
By now we're all well aware of the specs and if you're not then visit the Apple website here to see them in detail. One thing people have expressed surprise at is the fact that Apple have elected not to include a keyboard and mouse. It's fair to say this has ruffled a few feathers and with the Mac Pro's starting £2,499.00 (inc vat) it's easy to see why customers are annoyed when something considered so basic isn't included as standard but as we said before - the new Mac Pro is unlike any other workstation and Apple is unlike any other company (which is undeniably part of their appeal.)
By choosing not to include something as basic as a keyboard and mouse Apple are making a very bold statement which leaves no question about the fact that the Mac Pro is a new breed of workstation  designed to be extremely powerful while remaining as minimalist as possible. This is something Apple fans should be used to and it's important to note that the new Mac Pro isn't just minimalist - it's also highly expandable.
"Expandable" is the key word here and while the lack of keyboard/mouse will undoubtedly be an issue to many we're certain it won't hinder sales of the Mac Pro in the slightest. So Apple haven't included a keyboard and mouse. Big deal. They also don't include monitors, Thunderbolt cables, PCI adapters or additional storage as standard which is probably exactly what they'll say to anyone disgruntled enough to call up and complain.
Anyone lucky enough to be in a position to purchase a new Mac Pro will no doubt be well aware of the fact that they're going to require additional storage - after all the Mac Pro's are essentially built for working with media whether it's hi-resolution photo's or 4k video. As a result users will need someway of storing (and backing up) all those large files and with no less than six Thunderbolt 2 ports it would be a shame not to make the most of what is undoubtedly one of the fastest interfaces in the world.
Here at Planet PC we'd recommend taking a look at some of the newer Pegasus drives by Promise. Built with media professionals in mind Promise manufacture a range of high end RAID solutions which you can view here on our website. We're particularly impressed by the Pegasus 2 with Thunderbolt 2 capabilities which makes this one of the best hard drives money can buy. Admittedly these aren't cheap with the 8TB version retailing at around £1015.00 (ex vat) but as the old saying goes - you get what you pay for. These drives are ideal for a 4k workflow and feature hot swappable drives along with dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining. They also include a Thunderbolt cable which will no doubt come in handy.
Another product we'd consider essential for anyone using a new Mac Pro is an expansion chassis. This is due to the fact that the Mac Pro doesn't feature PCIe slots so chances are you'll want to invest in a little box of tricks such as the Echo Express III-D by Sonnet. This device costs just over £600.00 (ex vat) and allows you to connect up to three full size PCIe cards to the Mac Pro. The Sonnet Echo Express III-D also utilises lightning fast Thunderbolt 2 technology and is a great way of increasing functionality by incorporating specialist video capture/audio interface cards into your setup. Obviously no PCIe cards are included but chances are they'll seem relatively cheap when you've finished purchasing everything else.
By now you're probably wondering if there's anything else you'll need to purchase to compliment your set-up and believe it or not the answer is a big fat expensive yet. What you purchase and how much you spend will ultimately depend on what you're looking to do. Capture cards and 4K monitors will be standard for some and redundant for others and these is before additional costs such as software are considered. Visit our website at and check out all the accessories mentioned within this post along with many more. Alternatively give us a call on 01274 713400 and we'll be happy to talk Mac Pro's and anything else to do with video.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

New Products Now Online!

Here at Planet PC we're busy updating our website all the time - whether it's updating our prices to make sure our customers get the best deal or simply adding new products to ensure our product portfolio remains up to date.
Recently we've added some exciting new products from the likes of Decimator Design, Chrosziel,  and Atomos to name a few. Read on to find out more...
Decimator Design are an Australian company who produce a great range of converters and distribution amplifiers which not only look great but are also built to last.
Obviously looks aren't everything and it's fair to say that Decimator Design's products are some of the more expensive out there when it comes to conversion/distribution. There's a good reason for this and with a number of awards under their belt they're hot on the heels of companies such as AJA and Blackmagic.

We particularly like the Decimator 2 SDI-HDMI converter which features De-embedded analogue audio, down-converted outputs, built in scaling, audio metering and text overlays on the HDMI output.
Chrosziel 450-R21 Dual Stage Matte Box
German company Chrosziel are best known for their matte boxes and sunshades - and for a good reason. Combining German engineering with rugged functionality, these are ideal for anyone looking for greater control over light angles and lens flare.
Here at Planet we've been receiving more and more requests for these lately. Our favourite is Chrosziel's 450-R21 Dual Stage Matte Box which features  a double rotating filter stage, 16:9 mask, two filter holders, a French flag and pivot mechanism for side wings (sold separately).
The Atomos Ninja Blade
Fans of Atomos will be pleased to hear Atomos have launched their Ninja Blade - great news for anyone who felt left out due to the fact that the Samurai Blade was SDI only.
This newest addition to the range is essentially a beefed up Ninja 2 and features a bigger and better screen (capacitive instead of resistive) and features built in scopes/waveform monitors just like the original Samurai Blade. This is great news for anyone who's using a camera such as the Blackmagic Pocket Camera which doesn't have SDI outputs.
 We're always on the look out for new and exciting products and a big part of what we do involves listening to what our customers want so if there's anything you'd like to see on our website feel free to get in touch either by giving us a call on 01274 713400 or Alternatively send us an email to

Monday, 3 March 2014

Blackmagic's Pocket Camera? Here's a Few Things to Consider Before you Buy.

After announcing their first camera back in 2012 it's fair to say that Blackmagic's Cinema Cameras have generated a lot of hype and while most people are still waiting to get their hands on the 4K version (well done if you have one!) the Pocket Camera and original 2.5K Cinema Camera's are now readily available.

The Pocket Camera especially has been talked about non-stop (the irony of which is not lost in this blog post) and it's fair to say that this little cinema beast has certainly been making waves. Obviously this is all well and good but unfortunately for many not only has the Pocket Camera been making waves, it's also been causing some confusion between customers - many of whom aren't sure why or even if the Pocket Camera is right for them. If you're one of those still sat on the fence then this post is for you. 

Would you like some camera with that lens?
First things first - it's not really a pocket camera.

Yes the Blackmagic Pocket Camera might well fit in your pocket but chances are (unless you have pockets the size of rucksacks) everything else required to make it fully functional will not. As a result anyone who thinks it's a great idea to walk around with the Pocket Camera in their pocket is essentially carrying the equivalent of one piece of a very expensive jigsaw puzzle because as great as the Pocket Camera is, it's certainly not designed to be a point and shoot camera.

But it's so cheap?

Blackmagic's Pocket Camera is indeed great value for money. With an RRP of £649.00 (ex vat) there is nothing else in this price range which offers a similar specification to the Pocket Camera. Not only does the Pocket Camera offer 13 stops of dynamic range, it also boasts a Super 16mm sensor, includes the Lite version of DaVinci Resolve and can record in both RAW and ProRes. With these specs and at this price point the Pocket Camera is ideal for anyone who wants to add increased flexibility to their existing kit for relatively little outlay. Note though that we said existing kit. For anyone who already has a main camera along with a rig and some lenses (preferably MFT ones) the Blackmagic Pocket Camera is a very attractive proposition. This is especially true when you consider the fact that a decent lens alone can cost more than the camera and with this in mind it's easy to see why the Pocket Camera and the flexibility it provides appeals to so many.

Where the Pocket Camera gets expensive is when novices or those with a limited understanding of the workflow associated with the BMPCC jump on the hype of the cinema bandwagon. It's understandable that people get exited about new products and it's fair to say that Blackmagic have done a great job of marketing all their cameras. Many of you will be all too aware of earlier issues regarding shipping and waiting lists and while this has been frustrating for many customers it's hard to deny the fact that this has also generated a lot more publicity for the camera's due to the overwhelming initial demand.

This has led to a lot of people wanting a cinema camera when they're not really sure why - a little bit like wanting a sports car without considering the running costs and insurance etc. Here's a few things you might want to consider before taking the plunge:

SD Cards

Whatever you do - don't skimp on these. To put things in perspective you'll be able record just under 40 minutes of footage in Pro Res on a 64GB SD card (even less if you're working in RAW) so chances are you'll need a few. Blackmagic recommend something like the Sandisk 64GB SCXC Extreme Pro (95MB/s) which costs around £95.00 (ex vat) which might seem expensive but if you're working with cameras such as the BMPCC high read/write speeds are essential - just don't forget to label them all.

Alternative Recording Media

Helping the Pocket Camera cut the mustard.
You've probably realised by now that if you want to record on SD cards it won't be cheap whether you're recording in RAW or ProRes. Another issue customers have encountered with the Pocket Camera is the tiny LCD screen with many opting to use an external monitor.

Here at Planet PC we'd recommend looking at using like the Atomos Ninja Blade due to the fact that it provides the capability to record to SSD drives and acts as an external monitor. The Ninja Blade also includes a built in vectorscope and waveform monitor which makes it ideal for use with the BMPCC. At approximately £595.00 (ex vat) the Ninja Blade isn't far off the price of the Pocket Camera but we think it's a worthy investment - especially when you consider how much better SSD's are in terms of value for money when compared to SD cards.

Atomos recommend using specific drives, one of which is the Angelbird AVpro which will set you back around £420.00 (ex vat) for 240GB although there are cheaper alternatives available. Click here for some alternative recommendations.

What about the audio?

The Pocket Camera features a standard 3.5mm jack which would lead most people to believe that using a microphone with the Pocket Camera is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately this isn't the case and to say a lot of customers have had issues with the BMPCC's audio is an understatement. After initial tests we've found that very few microphones work well with the BMPCC although one which does is the Rode VideoMic Pro and costs about £110.00 (ex vat)

External Power

Spare batteries for the BMPCC are relatively affordable but with some users reporting batteries lasting as little as half an hour it's easy to see why many aren't exactly over the moon about carrying around/charging multiple batteries for the sake of a few hours filming. As a result we'd recommend considering an external power source such as a V-Lock battery if you don't already have one. We like this one by Swit which we'd recommend using in conjunction with something like a D-Tap to Pocket Camera power cable by Wooden Camera although at around £430.00 (ex vat) for the Swit V-Lock kit alone (which is one of the cheaper V-Lock options) it's a high price to pay for convenience. Alternatively if you've got the budget you could consider using the Wooden Camera V-Mount - Pocket Camera adapter in conjunction with a cheese plate which would allow you to power the Pocket Camera and externals camera light/recorder at the same time.

Essential for helping your rig take shape
Wouldn't a cheese plate need to be attached to a rig?

It would indeed, as would all the other accessories required to make the Pocket Camera user friendly. We'd recommend taking a look at Shape's Pocket Camera Cage  £350.00 (ex vat) which is machined from a solid piece of aircraft grade aluminium and is ideal for attaching pretty much anything with a threaded screw mount. The cage also includes a top handle and an adjustable rod block for anyone who wants to add accessories such as a matte-box or follow focus. For alternative's check out the likes of Cambo and Edelkrone at

But I can still use my existing lenses right?

That's absolutely correct - that is of course providing they're MFT mounts. If you want to use anything else with the BMPCC you'll need an adapter manufactured by someone such as Metabones. Those of you who already have Canon EF lenses and want to use image stabilisation/auto-focus will need to look out for the Metabones EF-MFT Speedbooster, although at the moment this particular model is notoriously difficult to get hold of. While there are cheaper adapters available the Metabones is one of the only options which allows users to take advantage of the internal electronics within an EF lens which many won't want to be without.

So there you have it. We've only scraped the surface when it comes to the Pocket Camera but fingers crossed this post proves useful for those of you still undecided about taking the plunge, whether you're a seasoned pro or an amateur film maker. Here at Planet PC we agree that overall the BMPCC is excellent value for money, and love the fact that Blackmagic have made this kind of technology affordable enough for the everyman. That being said, the Pocket Camera is certainly not your average camera and requires not only a completely different way of thinking when it comes to filming, but also a different way of working - especially in post production.

If this post hasn't put you off and you'd like to talk more about Blackmagic's cameras or anything else video related then give one our sales team a call on 01274 713400. Alternatively visit

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

New Portable Chromakey Solutions from Datavision

Datavision's CMS-180
Anybody who's ever worked with green screen will appreciate just how difficult the process can be, especially where portability and efficiency are concerned.

Whether it's setting up lighting or trying to iron out seemingly never ending creases - it's common knowledge that setting up a traditional green screen takes time, and as we all know, time is money.

Obviously if you're charging by the hour this might be good news for you but chances are it's not so good news for that client who is working to a tight deadline with a limited budget.

Datavision have realised this which is why they have come up with two portable and affordable green screen solutions in the form of the CMW-180 and the CMW-200.

Datavision's CMW-200

Both solutions feature a lightweight aluminium frame and include two LED "Super Lights" and a carry case, making them ideal for anyone working with limited space or those who require maximum portability.

The CMS-180 has an RRP of £1295.00 (ex vat) and features curved sides and side mounted LED lights making it ideal for use within interview situations where only upper body/head shots are required.  The CMS-200 has an RRP of £1495.00 (ex vat) and is equally as portable as it's little brother but features flooring and top mounted LED's, making it ideal for when full body shots are required.

Here at Planet PC we think these new solutions from Datavision are an excellent addition to anyone's kit list - especially those who have to travel to client locations on a regular basis or who has a limited budget. Not only are these solutions portable and lightweight - they're also sturdy and include everything required to achieve professional results. 

To see the full range from Datavision visit our website at or alternatively give us a call on 01274 713400 and one of our friendly sales team will be happy to talk chroma key or anything else video related.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

New ENG and Studio Cameras from JVC!

As if JVC didn't already have enough great cameras to tempt us with they've only gone and launched two more!
These new models come in the form of the GY-HM850 and the GY-HM890, and are the latest additions to JVC's existing range of professional camcorders.
Similar in size and shape to JVC's GY-HM750/GY-HM790 these new shoulder mount camcorders have been designed with live HD transmission in mind. This is great news for anyone who may have previously been undecided between one of JVC's larger studio cameras and something with FTP connectivity such as the GY-HM650E.
With the popularity of live streaming increasing along with continuing advances in technology FTP/GSM connectivity is becoming more important to professionals in an industry where speed and efficiency is everything. JVC have been quick to realise this which is great news not only for content producers - but also consumers and end users who are increasingly in a position to receive content before it is even created, whether it's via a tablet or a smartphone.
JVC's GY-HM850: Built with ENG users in mind.
JVC also utilises a dual codec design in their latest models which means these new cameras are born multi-taskers and each feature the ability to perform tasks such as the transfer of files/HD transmission in the background - all while the user carries on working as normal. If that wasn't convenient enough both cameras also allow users to monitor live from a tablet/smartphone which can in turn be used to remotely control the camera/lens.
What's the difference between the two?
JVC's GY-HM890: Ideal for multi-camera shoots.
While both cameras are undeniably excellent in their own right the GY-HM890 is slightly more feature packed than it's little brother and includes a HD/SD-SDI input which allows it to record/stream video and audio from another source such as a camera, monitor or anything else with an SDI output. The GY-HM890 is also well suited for use both inside and outside the studio and features a multi-pin connection capable of accommodating fibre and is also compatible with a range of additional studio components such as a sled, CCU and viewfinder.
Both models are available via our website at:  and can be purchased either with or without the Fujinon 20x Zoom lens. Prices start from £4400.00 (ex vat) for the GY-HM850 and £5600.00 (ex vat) for the GY-HM890 which we think is excellent value for money - especially when you consider the features JVC have crammed into these units.
Here at Planet PC we love the sound of these new cameras. If you do too then why not give our sales team a call on 01274 713400 or drop us a line at