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Come and see us in Windsor!

Posted on: 05/06/2013 12:35:00 under News » General 

Can't quite believe it's been a year since we were last at Windsor Racecourse for the Photovision Roadshow but sure enough it's here on the 19th June.

We'll be there with a selection of equipment.  If you fancy having a look at something, do get in contact with us.  If it's not booked out, we'll happily bring it along!


Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x - Official

Posted on: 14/05/2013 14:54:00 under News » General 

So that's it - it's now officially available (although we can't get any idea of allocation as yet!).    The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x, to give it the its full name, has been around since last summer when pre-production units were used for the Olympics.  Indeed we had one on our stand at the SWPP Convention in January.

What's it like? Quite heavy - if you're expecting it to be as light as a 400mm f2.8 Mk II, you'll be disappointed but then you do have to remember that this lens does have a 1.4x extender built in and it's got a variable focal length from 200mm to 400mm (600mm with the extender).

Here's Canon's official launch blurb

Get closer to the action with superior image quality
The reach of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x is boosted by its internal 1.4x extender, which is engaged or disengaged at the flick of a lever to provide an extended focal length of 280mm to 560mm – allowing photographers to get even closer to distant action. Ensuring the highest image performance, the optical design includes both fluorite and Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens elements, which help minimise chromatic aberration and eliminate colour blurring. Advanced anti-reflection SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Super Spectra Coating also reduce ghosting and flare. Thanks to the use of the latest optical technologies, image performance is unaffected when the integrated extender is used. 

With a fixed f/4¹ aperture the use of high shutter speeds to capture fast-paced action or a low-light scene is possible. A newly designed optical Image Stabilizer, which provides users with a four stop advantage, while IS ‘Mode 3’ applies image stabilisation only at the time of exposure – ensuring that photographers can pan with fast-paced action without IS overcompensating for movement. This feature is ideal for sports photographers, who typically have only a split-second to capture a subject in front of them. 

Powerful, flexible focusing 
The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x features Canon’s pioneering ring-type Ultrasonic Motor providing fast, silent autofocusing. For those who prefer to fine-tune focus themselves, full-time manual override allows photographers to manually focus at any moment when using AF. The Power Focus (PF) mode also increases versatility during movie shooting with the EOS-1D C or EOS-1D X, enabling photographers to achieve an accurate pull-focus effect at one of two speeds, simply by twisting the focus recall ring and stopping at a pre-set distance. 

High-performance design for professional demands
Designed to answer professional demands for superior image quality and versatile zoom range, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x a boasts a premium-quality design befitting Canon’s industry-renowned L-series lenses. 

The tough magnesium alloy chassis ensures that, despite the inclusion of the 1.4x extender, the lens is a similar weight to lenses of comparable focal length. Fluorine coatings on the front and rear lens elements also reduce the ability of dirt to cling to the lens surface, while a dust and water-resistant construction allows photographers to shoot in challenging weather conditions. The combination of outstanding optical performance, versatility, weight and tough construction will make it an essential part of any professional sports or wildlife photographer’s kitbag. 

EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x key features:
Built-in 1.4x extender, for extra magnification when you need it
Shoot in low light with four-stop Image Stabilizer
High image quality using Fluorite lens elements
Fast AF with USM technology
Robust design for use in the toughest environments¹ F5.6 aperture when the internal 1.4x extender is activated


Guide to sound recording with D-SLRs

Posted on: 14/05/2013 10:45:00 under News » General 
Talking about the latest and greatest kit is all very well but it's easy to forget all about the basics so we've teamed up with our friend Den Lennie from The F-Stop Academy to bring to you a number of videos stripping things down to the very basics.

The first of these is all about recording sound on D-SLR's. We find people are always picking the very best cameras and lenses they can afford, only at the cost of recording good sound - madness really as you forget sound at your own peril.

Getting good sound need not be hard or expensive. What we have tried to do in the following two videos is show you how easy it can be.

DSLR Audio - Part 1 - recording sound on camera

DSLR Audio - Part 2 - recording sound off camera


We're in Manchester!

Posted on: 14/05/2013 10:36:00 under News » General 

Today sees us at the Photovision Show at Old Trafford in the Manchester Suite.  If you're planning on coming along, please do feel free to pop along and say hi!


Zeiss high-end Distagon T* 1,4/55 explained

Posted on: 02/05/2013 11:54:00 under News » General 
Over the last few weeks, touring the Photography shows and workshops, one lens has come up quite a lot in conversations - the Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/55 which is due to be launched late this year in both Canon and Nikon mounts.

The lens is the first member of a new high-end family of SLR lenses which will offer uncompromising image quality. It will be perfect for high-resolution, full frame digital cameras such as the current Nikon D800 (and of course anything that Canon choose to launch at some point!). The combination should produce results approaching that of medium format systems.

So how much better will it be compared to a decent existing 50mm prime? Well, we'd advise you watch this video and see the results for yourself!

We'll be stocking the lenses from launch, initially in ZF.2 mount. ZE mount will follow dependant on launch of a hi-res Canon D-SLR.


It's official - Zeiss' new Touit range of lenses

Posted on: 02/05/2013 11:10:00 under News » General 
So it's finally official - we can reveal that Zeiss' new range of lenses for initially Fuji X Mount and Sony E Mount are to be called Touit.

Already it would seem discussions are forming as to the marketing validity of the new name which is a shame because surely it's the lenses we should be worrying about!!!

So to the first two focal lengths that will be available in May - the Touit 2.8/12 and 1.8/32.  The first thing people will notice is that are not made entirely of metal.  Zeiss decided that for this range of lenses, where parts did not require metal for accuracy, solidity and durability, plastic was to be used in an effort to keep the weight down.  Whilst not mentioned in their names, these lenses feature Zeiss' T* anti-reflective coating on all surfaces.

The Touit 2.8/12 is bound to become popular due to its wide angle.  This is giving you a 35mm equivalent of 18mm with APS-C sensored Fuji and Sony cameras.  Fuji already have a 14mm f2.8 but nothing as wide as this (they do have a 10-24mm f4 OIS in their roadmap for later this year).  Sony already have a 10-18mm with OIS but this is an f4 (it's actually a very good lens and brilliant for video work on the FS100/FS700, especially for Steadicam work).

We're really looking forward to also getting our hands on the Touit 1.8/32.  Do the maths and you'll have already worked out that this makes a whisper away from being a 50mm in 35mm equivalent.  Zeiss say it has been optimised for APS-C format sensors - combined with something like the Fuji X-Pro 1, it really should produce some stunning shots.

Still to come in around November is a Touit 2.8/50 makro.  We've ordered 3 sets of each mount and will have the lenses in stock from launch.  Details will be up on the website as soon as we're allowed which will be after the launch on 15th May.

Looks like we'll be getting a sneaky play with them next week as Zeiss are coming to see us so we'll let you know what we think of them - can't wait!


Clean HDMI for the Canon 5D Mk III

Posted on: 02/05/2013 07:50:00 under News » General 
The Canon 5D Mk III, since its introduction some 13 months ago, has been an instant hit on the video side. It vastly improved things over its predecessor, the 5D Mk II and immediately set the new standard for D-SLR video. Nikon were hot on their heels with the Nikon D800 and this offered something the Canon didn't (and something we all wanted) - clean HDMI output.

Well, it's finally here! If you have your own 5D Mk III, you'll find the firmware available to download from Canon's Support Page.

So what does it give you? Just starting with the photo side first, the main news is the centre AF point will now autofocus up to f/8 when used with a len/extender combination. The speed of the AF has also been improved when using a Speedlite's AF-assist beam. Autofocus was hardly slow on the 5D Mk III (especially when compared with the 5D Mk II - it's one of the main reasons for wanting to upgrade) but now it really flies.

So let's get onto the video side. The uncompressed clean HDMI output gives you an 8 bit 4:2:2 output that can be used to feed an EVF (now fills the screen properly!), a monitor or perhaps more interestingly, an external recorder such as the Atomos Ninja 2.

Den Lennie from the F-Stop Academy was over with us yesterday so we quickly shot this shot piece outlining some of the things to note.

Now once thing we omitted to mention in the video that I realised when looking at the footage from the Ninja 2 this morning is there is no audio. Unlike the camcorders, the 5D Mk III does not transmit the sound information through the HDMI. The solution to this is to link straight from the headphone socket through to the din input on the recorder. We're going to do some more investigating on this to see if there is a better way. Whilst it won't produce the best quality sound, it should be more than enough to sync with an external recording device.

In the video Den pointed out the vulnerability of the exposed HDMI connection and we will be looking at stocking the Zacuto Pincher to help ensure that these HDMI ports last!

EDIT - after this posting we found out that the sound didn't pass through the HDMI to the Ninja 2 but we did find a solution. I have put together the following video to show you how it's done.  One thing I do need to point out is that there is an issue with syncing of the audio and video using the method shown below - at present the two are about 5 frames apart.  Hopefully Atomos will be able to sort this in the same way they dealt with a similar issue with the D800.  Until then, you'll have to split them on the timeline and adjust (not the end of the world).

We've already updated all of the bodies we had in stock yesterday and as the others come back from hire, we'll get them updated as well.


May Bank Holiday deals!!

Posted on: 29/04/2013 13:14:00 under News » General 

It's Bank Holiday time again and we're back with our well know offer, only this time we've made it even better.  We had so much positive feedback from what we did at Christmas time, we're doing it again for both Bank Holidays.  

Book at ANY time before the weekend and if we have the equipment in stock, we'll send it out that day, pick up on the Tuesday after the Bank Holiday but you'll only be charged for 2 days hire.  So if you book on Monday morning and we have the equipment in stock, we'll send out the equipment to arrive with you on the Tuesday, 4 days before the actual weekend!!!  We'll do the same thing on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Come Wednesday afternoon, any remaining stock can be hired for a one day hire price for the Bank Holiday weekend (all equipment will be sent out on Thursday for arrival Friday morning).  Obviously there will be less chance of what you want being available by then but it does give people the chance to try equipment they couldn't otherwise afford.

So get up to 7 days for the price of 2 or 3 days for the price of 1 - choice is yours!

All offers subject to stock.  Normal insurance charges, deposits and courier charges apply.


Come and see us in Woking and Eastbourne this week!

Posted on: 15/04/2013 10:14:00 under News » General 

The Bigger Picture Roadshow 2013 kicks off this week with two shows.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 16th April, sees us in Woking at the HG Wells Conference Centre.  More details on the venue can be found here.

On Wednesday, we head not far down the road from the office to sunny Eastbourne (actually looks like it might be warm as well!).  The show will be held at the Kings Conference Centre.  You can find out more about the venue here.

Both days start at 10am and run through to 4pm.  Hope to see you there!!


Blackmagic announce Pocket Cinema Camera

Posted on: 09/04/2013 08:23:00 under News » General 

Whilst a lot of noise is being made about Blackmagic's new 4K offering, it would seem that this little pocket camera is further along in development and should appear first.

So what is it?  The camera contains a Super 16 sensor (it's between a 1 inch sensor and Micro 4/3rds in size - so around 3x crop factor) offering 13 stops of dynamic range.  Recording is done in lossless CinemaDNG RAW or ProRes.  Recording media will be fast SD cards.

The mount is Micro Four Thirds and unlike its 2K bigger brother, it's an active mount so you will be able to use Lumix lenses.  Obviously with adaptors, you have a huge range of lenses that can be used but it's important to remember that crop factor.

Body wise, the camera is made from mag alloy so should be pretty tough but light (weighs 355 grams).  On the back of the camera is a 3.5" LCD (expect a Zacuto Z Finder solution coming along pretty quickly!).  You can zoom in to 1:1 which should make focusing even with just the screen as easy as with a DSLR (whether you can do this whilst recording is not clear).  Powering the camera is a removable battery - yes, you'll be able to charge multiples and swap them out!  Nikon uses may recognise it as that's what it is - a Nikon EL-EN20 - should give around an hour's recording time.

Connections comprise of mini jacks for mic and headphones, 12V DC input, micro HDMI and LANC control.

Delivery is supposed to be around July and yes, we've already put our order in.  When we will actually see them is another thing - fingers crossed!


Blackmagic announce new 4K Super 35mm camera

Posted on: 08/04/2013 09:30:00 under News » General 

We're all still catching up with the shortage of supply of the Blackmagic Cinema Cameras and just when we thought we were getting somewhere, Blackmagic announce another new camera at NAB!

Details so far are still a little scarce - no doubt we will find out more at the press conference tomorrow but this is what we know so far (mainly because it's on a stand roll-up!).

Super 35mm image sensor
Global ShutterHD and 4K support
Compressed Cinema DNG, RAW and ProRes recording
Thunderbolt i/o
EF / mFT lens compatibility

Not sure how it will have Micro Four Thirds capability yet but all with become clearer in the next 24 hours.  Naturally we've already put our order in!


4K recording for the Sony NEX-FS700 - the HXR-IFR5

Posted on: 08/04/2013 08:21:00 under News » General 

We've already seen the new HXR-IFR5 (or at least a mock up of it) at BVE earlier this year, indeed I 'stole' it off Sony's standard for a live interview with Jon Pratchett at Broadcastshow.

Why is this important for us?  Simply because it offers cost effective (relatively) access to useable 4K footage using the excellent Sony NEX-FS700.  We'll be offering this unit with the AXS-R5 recorder either to use with our own cameras or as an option for those with their own cameras to try.  We may well have some interesting news on what might be offered - we can't say yet but watch this space!

So back to the details of the unit.  Sony have officially launched it at NAB in Las Vegas this week.  Below is their press released shortly ago - 

Las Vegas, April 7, 2013: Sony today announced the interface unit HXR-IFR5, which will connect the NEX-FS700 and the RAW recorder AXS-R5, enabling 4K RAW recording bringing high quality future proofed 4K RAW acquisition to a wider range of applications than ever before.

By applying an upgrade on the NEX-FS700, 4K/2K RAW output via 3G HD-SDI terminal will be available. The new interface unit HXR-IFR5 is equipped with a SDI terminal that can be used to input RAW data from the camcorder and pass the data to the RAW recorder AXS-R5. AXS-R5 is able to record RAW data onto an AXS memory card.

The frame rates at 4K (4096x2160) recording mode are 24p, 30p, 60p. In 4K mode 120fps high speed recording will be available for a limited time, approximately 4 seconds. In 2K (2048x1080) recording mode, continuous 240fps and 120fps shooting is available with unlimited time.The workflow to process RAW data will be exactly the same as the RAW workflow used in the combination of the existing CineAlta 4K camera PMW-F55/F5 and the AXS-R5. The HXR-IFR5 makes the NEX-FS700 one of the most cost effective 4K camcorders on the market - making it an ideal B camera for the F5 or F55, as well as the primary 4K camcorder for more entry level users.

The expectation of 4K is growing bigger and bigger also in the low cost content creation market. The combination of HXR-IFR5 with the NEX-FS700 and the AXS-R5 will be a perfect choice, expanding the possibilities of content creation.Basic Features of HXR-IFR5

External RAW recorder for NEX-FS700 via SDI
AXS-R5(*1) docked onto the HXR-IFR5 will become an external RAW recorder for the NEX-FS700(*2). The connection with the NEX-FS700 will use a single 3G HD-SDI cable, therefore various shooting styles can be realised. The NEX-FS700 can become a camera head when used separately, and it can also be used like a camcorder if the whole set is mounted onto a rig. We have prepared a 1/4 inch screw hole for those kinds of rig solutions. HXR-IFR5 will use the power source on the AXS-R5. AXS-R5 can be powered by a lithium ion battery pack BP-FL75 or a external DC12V power source using the XLR 4 pin power input.

*1: AXS-R5 will need a updated firmware version which will be provided by the time of HXR-IFR5’s sales start*2: NEX-FS700 will need a service upgrade (paid option)

16 bit linear RAW recording onto the AXS memory card
The combination of HXR-IFR5 and the AXS-R5 can record 16 bit linear RAW files onto an AXS memory card. Thanks to the 16bit linear RAW recording, full potential of the 4K imager on the NEX-FS700, meaning the broad latitude and the high colour resolution, can be captured onto the recorded RAW files.

Using the AXS-CR1 recorded RAW files can be easily transferred to a PC and the “RAW Viewer”(*), software provided by Sony, can be used to view, process and also do some simple colour grading. Not only high quality movies, but high resolution 8.4M still pictures can also be captured.

(*) version 1.1 or later is necessary.

4K/2K high speed shooting
Other than 4K (4096x2160) recording at 24p/30p/60p, 120fps recording in 4K resolution is available for approximately 4 seconds. Also, in 2K (2048x1080) recording mode, 240fps/120fps high speed continuous recording is available for unlimited time. These high speed recording modes are only possible with the combination of NEX-FS700, HXR-IFR5, and the AXS-R5.

*: Audio is not recorded in high speed RAW recording modes

AVCHD simultaneous recording on NEX-FS700
Even in the RAW recording mode, the NEX-FS700 can simultaneously record AVCHD onto the camera’s memory card. Since the recorded AVCHD files will have the same time code as the RAW files, the AVCHD files can be used as a proxy file for off line editing.

*: AVCHD cannot be recorded in high speed RAW recording mode

HD output for monitoring
HDMI/Component/Composite video outputs on NEX-FS700 and the AUX OUT of the AXS-R5 can be used for monitoring purposes. In order to achieve accurate monitoring of the wide dynamic range RAW recording, we have added S-Log2 setting onto the picture profile of NEX-FS700.

*: The gamma setting cannot be set individually for each video out/LCD panel/AVCHD recording. 


Canon announce the new XA20 and XA25 camcorders

Posted on: 03/04/2013 17:38:00 under News » Website 
We've been huge fans of the Canon XA10 camcorders since their arrival some two years ago. Canon have chosen just before NAB to announce two new camcorders to their range - the XA25 and XA20, the difference between them being the HD-SDI output available on the XA25.

They don't seem to be much different in design to the XA10, which is a good thing.  The XLR handle assembly is exactly the same in how it mounts onto the camera.  Both AVCHD and MP4 recording are available with AVCHD recording up to 1080/50p at 28Mbps and MP4 up to 35Mbps.

The touch screen is now OLED rather than LCD.  This is great news from what we've seen of other OLED screens, they offer far greater contrast and colour reproduction and are easier to view in daylight.

The last big thing is the inclusion of wireless connectivity with the camera supporting dual band WiFi.  Camera Remote support give you wireless adjustment of settings and Remote Browser allows you to review recorded footage on smartphones or browsers.  FTP File Transfer allows transfer of the footage at up to 150Mbps via a wireless access point.

We'll look forward to testing all this when we get our hands on one!

Canon XA25

Below is Canon's release -

Canon has expanded its handheld video camera range with the launch of two class-leading compact models – the XA25 and XA20 – which feature a completely redesigned Canon HD Video system, from the lens through to the image sensor and processor, to provide new levels of imaging performance.

The two new professional X-series models – the XA25 and XA20 – combine the powerful, all-new imaging system with professional audio and WiFi connectivity in a versatile, compact package that fits neatly in the palm of a hand.

Developed using Canon’s industry-leading imaging technologies, the cameras include powerful specifications to deliver outstanding quality and operability. A range of advanced shooting features and connectivity options make these cameras ideal for either professional or amateur use, and are suitable for shooting everything from news and documentaries to weddings.

Canon XA25
Canon XA25

The XA25 benefits from a completely new imaging system, which has been engineered to provide outstanding image quality and versatility. A groundbreaking 20x zoom wide-angle lens offers a 26.8-576mm focal range (*1), employing optical technology found in Canon’s top-of-the-range XF305 digital camcorder. An enhanced 3-mode Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) system (*2) incorporates a Dynamic OIS mode to further reduce the effects of camera movement during shooting. The 8-blade circular aperture also provides enhanced ‘bokeh’, using Canon’s unique Electro Magnetic Diaphragm technology – developed for the Canon EF lens range – to ensure beautiful background blur in shots with a shallow depth-of-field.

A newly designed 1/2.84-type 2.91 Megapixel HD CMOS Pro sensor provides outstanding dynamic range and low-light performance. The increased sensor size maximises photosite area, combining with a highly sophisticated image processing system to reduce image noise and increase sensitivity in low light environments.

The outstanding processing capability provided by a DIGIC DV 4 processor provides enhanced image reproduction, supplementing the strengths of the DIGIC DV family – such as smooth gradation and faithful colour reproduction – with support for recording at higher data rates. The sensor and processor work together to eliminate more camera shake, augmenting a highly effective Optical IS system with electronic stabilisation that detects and compensates for movement in a larger number of directions.

Designed to provide maximum flexibility, the XA25 supports multiple recording formats. AVCHD (up to 28Mbps) and MP4 (up to 35Mbps) provide high bitrates suitable for many professional applications. Video is recorded to dual SD (*3) card slots in a range of resolutions and frame rates up to 1080/50p, with slow and fast motion options supported in MP4 mode – providing greater freedom to choose an appropriate setting according to creative requirements.

The XA25 also supports simultaneous recording of different formats to each card – giving users the ability to capture high-quality Full HD footage in the desired format, and smaller MP4 files at the same time (*4). Delivered by the power of DIGIC DV 4, the smaller files can be shared more quickly and easily for time-critical applications, such as reporting breaking news, whilst the high-quality copies are retained for later use.

The XA25 features the same removable handle concept launched with the popular Canon XA10 camcorder. Easily attached or removed to suit the shooting situation, the top-mounted handle houses a range of additional controls, including XLR inputs for capturing professional quality audio from external microphones. The handle also integrates an IR lamp to enhance the shooting capabilities of the XA25’s infrared mode – ideal for recording night-time documentaries or nocturnal wildlife.

The XA25 has a compact, ergonomically designed body that offers outstanding handling and control during use. A new 8.77cm (3.5”) 1.23million-dot Organic LED (OLED) touch screen panel provides greater resolution, contrast and improved colour reproduction during recording and playback. Users have full manual control over exposure: a combination of the touch screen and a customisable control dial allows for adjustment of aperture, shutter speed, iris, gain and exposure.

Zoom or focus can be adjusted via a switchable ring at the front of the camera lens. Additionally, a new zoom rocker integrated into the camera body is ideal for shooting when handheld or tripod mounted, offering the fine control and convenience typically found on larger professional cameras. An improved 1.56 million-dot 0.61cm (0.24”) electronic viewfinder (EVF) can be tilted up to approximately 45°, providing outstanding detail and comfort for effective handheld or tripod shooting.

The new XA25 camera offers an advanced selection of interfaces, with physical inputs conveniently grouped together and designed to keep connections in place during handheld use. The XA25 includes integrated HDMI, microphone, USB and headphone terminals, plus HD-SDI output – offering the high capacity, uncompressed connectivity useful for many broadcast applications.

PLEASE NOTE - the XA20 does not have HS-SDI output.

The camera also features newly integrated dual band WiFi support (2.4GHz and 5GHz), providing a range of capabilities for use during or after shooting. Camera Remote support allows wireless adjustment of settings via a web browser (*5), and Remote Browser allows users to review recorded footage from the camera in smartphone or tablet browsers – with no need for playback software.

FTP File Transfer allows users to transfer footage to FTP servers at up to 150Mbps via a wireless access point, and with Media Server, WiFi can be used to play back videos stored on a camera on supported TVs or computers, without the need for cables (*6). Direct movie uploading is also supported for iOS devices using Canon’s Movie Uploader application, allowing the upload of videos directly to YouTube or Facebook at bitrates of up to 24Mbps.

  • 26.8mm, f/1.8-2.8 lens, 20x zoom, Dynamic OIS.
  • 1/2.84” HD CMOS PRO sensor.
  • 8.77cm (3.5”) OLED touch screen.
  • Dual-format recording; DIGIC DV 4.
  • HD-SDI output. (only on XA25)
  • 1.56m dot EVF, 45° tilt.
  • Fast/slow motion.
  • Built-in IR lamp.
  • 2x XLR inputs.
  • Built-in WiFi.

(*1) 35mm equivalent.
(*2) Standard, Powered and Dynamic modes.
(*3) SD, SDHC and SDXC formats supported.
(*4) Dual recording not supported in AVCHD 28Mbps or MP4 35Mbps modes.
(*5) Rec Start/Stop, aperture, shutter, focus, zoom, white balance and shooting modes supported in Camera Remote.
(*6) Wireless network and DLNA support required.


Come and see us in St Albans!

Posted on: 02/04/2013 17:48:00 under News » Website 

April 23rd 2013 sees us in St Albans at the next Photovision Roadshow.  If you're attending, please feel free to pop over and say 'Hi'!  We'll have a selection of camera bodies and lenses on show.  More details can be found above.


Come and see us in Edinburgh!

Posted on: 22/03/2013 11:47:00 under News » General 

Next Monday sees us jumping on a plane, heading up to Scotland.  On Tuesday 26th March, we'll be at the first Photovision Show of the year, held at the Royal Highland Centre round the corner from the airport.  Opening hours are 11am to 5pm with seminars starting at 10am.

For more information, click on the image above to download the PDF.  Look forward to seeing you there!


Canon announce EOS 100D and EOS 700D

Posted on: 21/03/2013 12:29:00 under News » General 

Canon have just announced two new SLR's to their line-up - EOS 100D and EOS 700D.

Let's start with the EOS 100D.  This becomes the world's smallest and lightest DSLR on the market.  Compared to something like the old EOS 650D (now replaced by the EOS 700D), it's 25% smaller and it is nearly 30% lighter.  

The EOS 100D contains a new 18mp APS-C Hybrid AF II CMOS sensor which combined with the DIGIC 5 processor is said to give excellent results.  ISO range is 100-12,800 (expandable to 25,600) with Canon claiming excellent image quality.

As with the EOS 650D, the EOS 100D has built in phase-detect AF for focusing when in Live View and for Video.  I have to say that it wasn't that impressive in the EOS 650D and I am hoping for better things with this new sensor - certainly it was way behind mirrorless sensor cameras such as the Fuji's.

One thing it doesn't have is Wifi which to be honest is a bit of shame.  Movie wise, the camera offers 24,25 & 30p at full 1080 with 50p and 60p available at 720.  It does have a mic input and we're assuming the HDMI output is not clean.

The creative filters will no doubt appeal to the target audience and include miniature and fish-eye effects.

It's fair to say that this camera is very much aimed at a new SLR user stepping up from a compact and it features good Auto modes and has a built in guide.  Because it is so much smaller than a normal SLR, could you consider it as an alternative to a CSC camera?  Possibly but do bear in mind that with the EF-S mount, the lenses will still be pretty big in diameter.

Next up is the EOS 700D.   The EOS 650D has hardly been with us a year and along comes its successor.  So the EOS 700D has the same 18mp Hybrid AF sensor as the EOS 650D along with DIGIC 5 processor which gives an ISO range from 100 to 12,800 (expandable up to 25,600).

To look at it has the same 3in Vari-angle touchscreen.  But there are differences.  If you stand the cameras side by side, you notice the finish of the body is different - Canon claims it is more robust and durable.  The mode dial now rotates 360 degrees and the modes are embossed rather than stuck on the dial.

So what else?  You can now preview filters in real time before shooting and just as backup, the camera can also record the original image (the EOS 700D can only capture the altered image).

Everything else, from what we can see, is pretty much the same which is no bad thing as, Hybrid AF notwithstanding, the EOS 650D is a very good camera.

So overall, the EOS 100D is the more significant release with its smaller body and it's a clever move on Canon's part as you might be swayed over by an SLR where you were considering a mirrorless compact.  Why anyone would buy a Canon M is beyond us.  One thing that is interesting is that the cheaper EOS 100D now has the newer sensor (from what we can read from Canon's release notes) so we'll be interested to see how the Hybrid AF performs and whether it is any better than in the EOS 650D.

The EOS 700D seems to be just a cosmetic update and perhaps a missed opportunity to add features such as Wifi.  Quite why the new sensor wasn't put in as well is a mystery (though we do want to confirm this with Canon).


Easter Offer 2013 - Up to 4 days for price of 1!!

Posted on: 19/03/2013 06:20:00 under News » General 

We're back with our famous Easter Offer but as this is our 10th year anniversary, we thought we would make it just that bit more special.

If you pay the normal weekend hire charge, subject to availability, we'll dispatch your goods on either Monday 25th or Tuesday 26th March.  We will then pick them up on Tuesday the 2nd April.  ALL FOR A WEEKEND'S HIRE CHARGE!!!

But that's not all.  Those looking for a real bargain and willing to take a chance might like the next bit.  As of 4pm on Tuesday 26th, any equipment still in stock can be booked to be dispatched on Wednesday 27th March for a SINGLE DAY'S HIRE CHARGE.  Yes that's 4 DAYS FOR PRICE OF 1!!

We know we get heavily booked (this is our busiest weekend of the year) so if you really want something specific, we would advise booking early and we will send it out as early as we can next week.

Normal courier charges, minimum hire charges, equipment deposits and delivery conditions apply.


Single SLR Packages added to site

Posted on: 19/02/2013 09:14:00 under News » General 
Single SLR Packages

Yes it HAS been a while since we've offered packages but don't worry, they are all on their way back!  First off the line are the Single SLR Packages simply as they are the most popular.  

We'll be adding further to this section over the next few weeks and we'll be launching an SLR Video Packages section and of course ones for our camcorders, both small and large sensors.


Limelite Mosaic LED's now in stock

Posted on: 11/02/2013 17:54:00 under News » General 
Limelite Mosaic

We have been supplying bi-colour 1x1 light panels for a while now and very popular they have been too. Back in September we got chatting to those lovely people at Bowens and hatched a plan to expand our lighting in both stills and video to include models from their range.

And here is the first on the video side - the Mosaic Daylight LED panel offering up to 4200 Lux of 5600K daylight. The light is dimmable from 0-100% controlled by an onboard digital control panel.

Limelite Mosaic
If you require more lighting, we can also offer a dual light mounting kit linking both together not only physically but in control using the DMX link.

If you need different temperatures, don't worry - we offer two ranges of gels for sale that you can keep going forwards.


Last minute offers 06/02/13

Posted on: 06/02/2013 15:18:00 under News » General 
Last minute offers from Hireacamera - 6th Feburary 2013
Last minute offers - 2 for price of 1!

Offers for this weekend!

Here is the list of what equipment we have available as of 3pm this afternoon. Hire anything we have in stock for this weekend and you'll get the weekend's hire for a day's hire charge!

Better still, if you're a loyalty card member you CAN use this offer with your discount!

Normal courier charges, damage waiver/insurance, our minimum hire charge of £30 and deposits apply.

As always, it's first come - first served. We know the phone goes a bit crazy once this newsletter goes out now (we have over 300 subsribers already!) so don't delay!

Digital SLRs


Nikon D600
Nikon D700
Nikon D800
Nikon D4


Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-6
Sony NEX-7
Sony a99


Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GH3

uji X-Pro 1 Kit

Leica M9-P

Canon 650D
Canon 50D
Canon 60D
Canon 7D
Canon 5D Mk 2
Canon 5D Mk 3
Canon 6D
Canon 1Dx


Nikon and Canon flashguns available





Sony EA50
Sony VG900
Sony Z5E
anon XF105
Canon XF305
Sony MC50E
Sony MC2000E
Canon XA10
Sony NX30
Sony NX70
Sony PMW-100
Sony PMW-200
Sony FS100
Sony FS700


Canon mount lenses


Sigma 8mm Fisheye
Canon 8-15mm Fisheye
Sigma 15mm Fisheye
Canon 16-35mm f2.8
Canon 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 EFS
Sigma 20mm f1.8
Sigma 24mm f1.8
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 Mk 1
Canon 24-105mm f4Sigma 35mm f1.4
Canon 45mm Tilt/Shift
Canon 50mm f1.2
Sigma 50mm f1.4
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS Mk I
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS Mk II
Canon 85mm f1.2
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS
Sigma 120-400mm f4.5-5.6 OS
Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 OS
Canon 300mm f2.8 IS Mk II
Canon 400mm f2.8 Mk II
Canon 500mm f.4
Various Zeiss and Samyang mount lenses - call for details.



Nikon mount lenses


Sigma 15mm Fisheye
Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 DX
Nikon 18-200mm VR DX f3.5-5.6
Sigma 20mm f1.8
Sigma 24mm f.18
Nikon 24-70mm f2.8

Nikon PC-E 45mm f2.8
Sigma 50mm f1.4
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR
Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR Mk II
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS
Sigma 120-400mm f4.5-5.6 OS
Nikon 200-400mm f4
Sigma 300mm f2.8

Various Zeiss and Samyang mount lenses - call for details



Sony Alpha mount lenses


Sony 24mm f2
Sony 35mm f1.4
Sony 85mm f1.4
Sony 500mm f4



Sony E mount lenses


Sony 10-18mm f4
Sony 16mm f2.8
Sony 18-200mm
Sigma 19mm f2.8
Sony 24mm f1.8
Sony 30mm Macro
Sony 35mm f1.8
Sigma 30mm f2.8 Macro
Sony 50mm f1.8



Micro 4/3rds lenses


14mm Pancake



Various Zeiss M mount lenses are available - please call for details



Please call with regards accessories.




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It's the second time I have used you and, as before, the service was excellent.
- Dave Henson, Kent

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