All posts by Stephan

Camcorders galore at CES 2011!

Vegas will always be Vegas!Now that CES 2011 (January 6-9 in Las Vegas) has ended, here is a recap of the new camcorder releases that caught our attention, with direct links to our news coverage and forum discussions. Enjoy!



  • Canon HF G10 / XA10 – small, but with a clever convertible design and features aplenty for the demanding consumers / prosumers
  • Canon HF S30 – an update to the S-series product line (maybe the last iteration?)


PS: if you like the photo on the right, here’s another one. All pictures from CES 2011 for Friends of HD Video: credits to Astroman from Arizona.

A new search engine dedicated to videomaking

[ Jump to the forum announcement: The Ultimate Search Engine in All Things Videomaking! ]

How often have you wasted time searching the Web for good camcorder / DSLR reviews, or video accessories, or looking for solutions to specific problems with your video editing software…

To help solve this problem and make best use of your time, Friends of HD Video is pleased to introduce a new search engine (powered by Google) that is fully dedicated to the needs of high-definition videomakers worldwide.

See the new search box on top of each page on this website? Check it out, as it will give you search results not just on Friends of HD Video, but also on a select list of hand-picked, first-rate websites related to videomaking…

Continue reading A new search engine dedicated to videomaking

Sony NEX-VG10 vs. DSLR: how do they compare?

Sony NEX-VG10 high-definition APS-C camcorder

[ Jump to the forum discussion: Sony NEX-VG10 (APS-C sensor, interchangeable lens) ]

Two months after a preliminary teaser, Sony announced the new NEX-VG10 camcorder. With a DSLR-sized sensor and interchangeable lenses, this new high-definition video camera brings outstanding, unprecedented options to the videomaking world.

But who is it really for? Should you get a NEX-VG10 or a DSLR? As often, it all depends on what you really need… Now this camcorder calls for a full specs review and comparison.

For answers and more, continue the discussion in our forum thread: Sony NEX-VG10 (APS-C sensor, interchangeable lens)

Here is also, hereafter, a demo video published by Sony.

Please install Adobe Flash Player to view this video.

A new forum to help you make the best of your HD camcorder

Video cameras are complex technology, which sometimes make us ask ourselves so many questions:

  • What is the best camcorder for our needs?
  • How to adjust optimal settings for best video quality?
  • How to capture video from the camcorder and transfer it to a computer for editing? Which video editing software is easiest or most powerful?
  • How to burn DVDs or blu-ray discs?

To help you find answers to these questions and more, Friends of HD Video now launches a new online community, ready to welcome you.

Read our full announcement to discover what makes us so special… or Sign Up Now!

Sony announces interchangeable lens, DSLR-like HD camcorder

Sony new DSLR-like HD camcorder

Sony announced on May 11, 2010 the development of a completely new HD camcorder (read the full press release).

Essential characteristics are:

  • Interchangeable lenses, compatible with the “E-mount” interchangeable lenses developed for the NEX-5 and NEX-3 still cameras. For those, see the announcement and previews at DPReview – Sony NEX mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras previewed,
  • Compatibility with α DSLR lenses via a mount adaptor,
  • APS HD CMOS sensor, that should bring the same image quality as the current crop of video DSLRs from Canon, Nikon…

Any question or comment on this article? Come over discuss it on our HD camcorders forums!

With these two combined announcements, Sony is introducing brand new exciting options in the market: a DSLR sensor in a true camcorder form factor (we shall see how that fits in one’s hand though), and DSLR-like still cameras in a compact form factor.

As Matthew Jeppsen said (Who will Get The Cheese?), DSLR enthusiasts have been enjoying unprecedented benefits for such a low price: high sensitivity and low noise, filmic depth-of-field, high dynamic range, interchangeable lenses. The drawbacks however have been very strong too: intense aliasing, rolling-shutter artifacts, imperfect recording codec, short record times, bad audio, and an awkward DSLR form factor that won’t hold comfortably.

It will be very exciting to see if Sony manages to overcome these issues in this new product. And also, despite the low depth-of-field that makes focusing so difficult to achieve, can Sony manage to make this a product that ordinary prosumers / hobbyists can truly enjoy carrying around and travel with – or instead will that be again basically a tool for indie film makers only like the current video DSLRs.

Product availability expected for Fall 2010.

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Improve your voice-overs with The Levelator

Sample voice waveformIn order to achieve high-quality video commentaries that your audience will enjoy listening to, it is vital that you let the talent’s voice stand out loud and clear. But recording voice is more difficult than it may seem: sometimes it is too loud, and sometimes instead you can’t hear it well.

To overcome this issue, you need to understand and take advantage of one essential audio production technique: dynamic range compression. It does not need to be complex however: with a free software tool and no more additional work than a simple drag-and-drop, here is a practical tutorial to help you reach fantastic quality in your voice-overs.

Continue reading Improve your voice-overs with The Levelator

Shooting video at night under the red street lights

Tutorial: how to remove the red color from the street lights at nightHave you ever shot video at night, especially in cities, only to realize later on that your picture looks all red, orange, or yellow? This is due to the sodium vapor street lights, also known as broken spectrum lights.

This post brings you a short color correction tutorial, which teaches you how to fix your night shots to remove the red color cast and make them look more natural.

Continue reading Shooting video at night under the red street lights

Siel-Satis 2009 Trade Show: Sony PMW-EX1R, PMW-350, and JVC’s 3D video

New Sony PMW-350After Sony teased the whole world with an earth-shattering announcement, it was high time to join the party at the Siel & Satis 2009 Trade Show in Paris and ask the question of all questions:

What is “industry-shaking” in all this?

Get the answer and more after the break with a Q&A report about the new PMW-EX1R and PMW-350, and also a short test of a fascinating device by JVC which converts 2D video to 3D – in real time, please.

Continue reading Siel-Satis 2009 Trade Show: Sony PMW-EX1R, PMW-350, and JVC’s 3D video

High-quality voice-over with your camcorder microphone

I recently struggled to find a cheap voice-over solution with reasonable quality… My editing software has a voice-over feature which can take sound input from the PC sound card; all sound cards or motherboards have a microphone input; so I just figured I should buy a quality headset with a built-in microphone. The microphone, being closest to the mouth, would bring a beautifully sounding voice while rejecting side noise. Or so I thought — the results were pathetic.

But there is a much better solution, at no additional cost.

Continue reading High-quality voice-over with your camcorder microphone