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Todd Berlin - Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales
Todd Berlin – Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales

I find it funny how we like ever increasing screen sizes but also demand featherweight, thin design and powerful performance from our smart phones, tablets and computers. We’ve seen some very thin TV’s previously but this year Sony has given new meaning to the word ‘thin’ with their X9000C/X9100C TV series.

As one of the top two series in the Bravia line up this year, everything about them is fantastic but the first thing you’ll notice is just how thin they are. The 55” & 65” models (X9000C) are the thinnest at 4.9mm across most of the panel. I’m not sure if you know what 4.9mm looks like, but it’s very small – thinner than the vast majority of smart phones. Due to its size, the 75” (X9100C) is thicker – 15mm at the thinnest point.

Sony BRAVIA X9000C – Thinner Than Thin
Despite there being a whole lot less TV, Sony has packed in much of the same tech we’ve come to love. Triluminos Display (quantum dot) for the biggest range of colours available; X-Reality Pro image processor; the new Android TV operating system for the best integration of all your music, apps and movies; and Motionflow XR800 in a native 100Hz panel. All this results in really fantastic image quality, which is honestly mind blowing considering how minimal space there is to work with.

To make the most of the incredible design of these TVs, Sony expect many people will wall mount them. As such, a slim wall mount is included in the box! Also included is their Oneflick remote which is super simplified and easy to use.

As always, we’re happy to help so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions

Todd Berlin - Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales
Todd Berlin – Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales

Newcomer to the POV Camera scene, AEE, has released two new cameras: the Shotbox S60 and Shotbox S71. It’s a highly competitive market but their offering in these cameras is very solid for the price point they’re set at.

Both the S60 and S71 feature a fixed 147 degree lense, 10x digital zoom, built-in Wi-Fi and recording onto a Micro SD Card (up to 64GB capacities accepted). The maximum resolution is 1080p on the S60 at up to 50 fps and the maximum frame rate is 100 fps in 720p. The S71 adds 4K recording at either 12 or 15 fps. Both models also do very well on a single battery charge – up to 3 hours on the S60 and up to 2.5 hours on the S71 which, generally speaking, is much longer than many other big name alternatives.

New Shotbox POV Action Cameras
You’ll get a 100m waterproof housing with each camera as well as a second, larger backdoor to use with the INCLUDED 2” REMOVABLE TOUCH SCREEN! Crazy right? And yes, that’s for both models. AEE have created an app for both iOS and Android if you’d prefer not to use the screen or if you need to maximize the battery life. You can preview, control and download footage from the camera using the app.

It’s easy to get going with one of these great little cameras straight out of the box. Included (along with everything else I’ve already mentioned) is a camera tilt mount, horizontal/vertical joint (good for tricky angles), 2 curved mounts, 2 flat mounts, Humonitor anti-fog kit, carry pouch, hand strap and USB cable. For a sub $300 price on the S60, there’s really nothing else on the market that represents better value. We’re still yet to put the image quality and performance through its paces properly, however from what we’ve seen it’s really very good.

As always, we’re happy to help so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions.

Todd Berlin - Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales
Todd Berlin – Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales

What does the Blackmagic brand mean to you? Pick a word. Or a few words. For most people it might be something along the lines of ‘budget’, or ‘value for money’. For others, perhaps ‘premium’. Personally, I think they’re trying to pull away from the ‘Cheap and Cheerful’ label that was generally accepted years ago and the new products released earlier this year are certainly in line with that. I’ll concentrate on the Micro Cinema Camera today.

How micro is micro? 6.5cm tall, 8.2cm wide and 6.9cm deep to be exact. That’s without a battery or lens but still, it’s very small – especially considering most of it is the lens mount. Inside you’ll see a small Super 16 sized sensor which has up to 13 stops of dynamic range and a selectable Global or Rolling shutter. A sensor that small behind a micro four thirds mount is going to mean you have a crop factor of 3x! This may pose problems if you need a really wide shot (like on a drone for example).

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera
The Micro Cinema Camera is extremely well featured for its size. To an SD Card you can record in 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW or plenty of 10-bit Apple ProRes codecs – ideal both for professionals and anyone who needs a lot of control over colours and exposure. There’s no LCD or viewfinder on the camera though so you’ll need to monitor remotely or guess the framing of your shots. There are a handful of buttons on the side of the camera that let you start and stop recording or change setting. Also, on the camera you’ll find a full sized HDMI Output, a 3.5mm Audio Input and an SD Card slot. For the power input, genlock input, LANC control, composite video output and digital and analogue servo control, you’ll need to use the Expansion port.

The one thing that’s missing for me is an XLR input. I’d see great value in that but most users would have this as their B or C camera, in which case it wouldn’t be as big of a problem. My only other gripe is the sensor size. It’s quite small and if you already have some MFT glass you’re not going to be able to use it in quite the same way. I guess this could be either a good or bad thing depending on your use. As with any specialist ‘system camera’, there’s a lot to think about so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions.

Todd Berlin - Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales
Todd Berlin – Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales

Earlier in the year we introduced the Panasonic VX870 & WX970 camcorders – their two top models both with 4K internal recording. Now it’s Sony’s turn and to join the existing AXP35, they’ve just released the much cheaper AX33.

The AX33 and AXP35 look incredibly similar. In fact they share the same optics, sensor, processing capacity and recording codecs, so the image quality is exactly the same. Essentially all you gain by jumping up to the AXP35 is a built-in projector and 64GB built-in solid state memory. And so at nearly two thirds the price of its bigger brother, the AX33 looks like a great deal.

Sony FDRAX33 & FDRAXP35 4K Camcorders

As I said, from the front lens element to the SD card, everything internally is the same as the more expensive model so the image quality is really fantastic. Sony’s Exmor R CMOS sensor (backside illuminated) has proven very reliable in low light over the years and paired with a bright lens (F1.8-3.4), it makes for a very versatile camera.

The zoom range is 10x optical which isn’t huge but definitely useable. If it’s not enough, you can make use of Sony’s Clear Image Zoom up to 15x in 4K or 20x in Full HD. Speaking of 4K, it uses the XAVC S codec and you’ll need an SDXC (U3) card to handle the high data rates.

Sony’s optical image stabilisation has always been excellent and this is certainly the case here. The lens starts at 29.8mm (full frame equivalent) on the wide end and you get lots of manual control. All round it’s a really great option if you’re looking for a fully featured 4K camcorder that won’t break the budget.

As always, we’re happy to help so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions.

Todd Berlin - Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales
Todd Berlin – Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales

Capturing high quality and realistic atmosphere and background sound for any production is crucial. It sets the scene, creates authenticity in your story and draws the viewer in. There are obviously plenty of ways to do this, but one of the easiest is to use a stereo on camera microphone.

The Rode VideoMic X is a solidly built, high quality stereo mic that fits that bill just about as good as anything else you could find. It features a matched pair of ½” true condenser capsules in an X-Y pattern that provides studio quality audio in a sleek and sexy package.

Rode Stereo VideoMic X
It really is a well thought out product. You have the option of either individual mini XLR outputs or a stereo 3.5mm output. It can be powered either by battery (9 volt) or phantom power so it doesn’t matter what camera or connections you use – you’re covered. Obviously the XLR outputs are always preferable and will give the best quality.

The shock mount technology is the same as what’s found in many others in the VideoMic range – Rycote Lyre – and again it works very well on this one. The VideoMic X could be nicknamed something like ‘The Tank’ pretty easily. It’s built to the highest standard however at only 300 grams it shouldn’t make your rig top heavy.

It comes with the beehive style pop filter and also a furry windshield, assuming outside use will be on the agenda for most people. On the back you’ll find an on button, a high boost switch (which is really there to use when the windshield is attached), a high pass filter and a -10/0/+20dB level switch.

This is a professional microphone and comes with a professional price tag (as well as a 10 year warranty so you can sleep easy). It’s one that you can rely on and really is very flexible so any videographer would do well to have this in their kit bag.

As always, we’re happy to help so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions.

Todd Berlin - Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales
Todd Berlin – Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales

Along with the A7R Mark II and the RX10 Mark II, Sony released their fourth update for the RX100. The RX100 Mark IV has some very exciting upgrades internally, although is significantly more expensive than its predecessor.

On the outside, you’d barely be able to tell it apart from the Mark III, however on the inside things are a little different. Most exciting are the improvements made to the video capabilities. The Mark IV can record 4K Video internally, as can the A7R II and RX10 II. Not only that, but somehow Sony have enabled it to record at 960 frames per second in Full HD! That’s ridiculous. Very cool, but ridiculous. What test footage we’ve seen so far of this has been really impressive but it obviously requires a lot of light, so don’t expect to use the high frame rates in the dark.

Sony RX100 Mark IV
The sensor resolution and lens specs are the same on paper so you can expect the same solid performance as in the Mark III. The pop-up electronic viewfinder has been upgraded to a higher resolution OLED Tru-Finder – perfect in very bright conditions. And lastly the maximum frame rate in burst mode has jumped up from 10fps to 16fps at full resolution.

A lot of us here at Videopro were of the opinion that the RX100 Mark III was one of, if not the best compact cameras ever made for it’s size. This is certainly a nice improvement on that, so you absolutely must consider it for your next camera purchase.

As always, we’re happy to help so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions.

 

The Videopro team are proud to unveil the new Business Solutions Website – business.videopro.com.au.

We have matured from the small AV retailer we started out as in the Brisbane CBD into a well respected, nation-wide AV integrator, servicing both business and consumer spaces.

With our systems integration and services offerings moving from strength to strength and the current Videopro website serving primarily e-commerce functionality, came the need for a dedicated Business Solutions website. The new website places substantial emphasis on the Videopro mission statement ‘Enhancing Lives Through Technology’ and aims to identify solutions synonymous with specific industries.

Six months in the making, this project has been a massive undertaking. We have strived to articulate all of the Industries that we engage with, all of the Solutions that we provide, and all of the Services that our Business Solutions team can be engaged in.

With the implementation of our Help Desk Ticketing System, and new Virtual Room Builder functionality, we have endeavoured to provide both an aesthetically pleasing website, but also an accessible, functional, online resource.

Check it out – business.videopro.com.au/

 

 

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Todd Berlin - Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales
Todd Berlin – Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales

Android TV is here and in 2015 you’ll only find it on new Sony TVs (W800C and up). Android TV is essentially a whole new operating system for your TV. The look and functionality is similar to any Android powered smart phone or tablet so for most people it’s instantly familiar – and it really is very smart.

Aside from the EPG, the main screen is filled with icons in different groups – recommended content, physical inputs, apps and online content, settings, etc. A feature we love is the voice search (Google Now) and it’s super easy to use, either with the One-Flick remote or with your smart phone. You can ask it to change channels, swap inputs, search for content by genre, series, actor/actress, information about the weather and you can even get it to solve maths questions for you.

Android TV
If you’ve got a Google account with purchased movies, music or games, you can access all that directly on the TV and search for new content as well. Plus, when you stop watching a movie half way through on the train home from work, then turn on your TV at home, you can pick up right where you left off.

There are a bunch of other really cool features, like auto naming HDMI inputs and the fact that you can use third party game pads as well as PS4 controllers with games from the Google Play Store. One of the most helpful things though, is Google Cast. Using the app either on your Android or iOS device, you can easily bounce movies and photos to the TV. This works for several apps and the list is expanding. With the YouTube app for example, when you choose to send it to the TV, it will open the app and continue playing there so you’re free to continue using your phone – very cool.

Sony hasn’t specified details for the processors in their 2015 TVs but we haven’t been able to break them so far. Everything is quick and smooth – from games, to loading video, switching channels and even turning the TV on and off. Overall it’s a solid operating system and a breeze to use. If you want a smart TV that has plenty of power but doesn’t take an IT degree to get your head around, Android TV is the one you want.

As always, we’re happy to help so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions.

Android TV on the Android Website | Android TV from Sony | Android TV Apps on the Play Store

Todd Berlin - Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales
Todd Berlin – Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales

The recently announced Sony A7R Mark II has caused a lot of excitement over the past few weeks. Sony continues to show that they’re heavily invested in their mirrorless range of camera bodies and lenses. If we connect the dots, an A7S Mark II will no doubt be on the cards in the not too distant future.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. The A7R II has only just been announced, let alone started shipping. What makes it so exciting then? Several things; for many people, potentially the biggest thing will be 4K internal recording (along with the S-Log2 Gamma profile). This is the first in the A7 range that offers 4K internal, although the A7S can output it via HDMI. The next big feature is the Back Side Illuminated (BSI) sensor-which if you’re unfamiliar with, essentially allows for better light gathering. The resolution has been bumped up to 42 megapixels and the ISO performance now maxes out at 102,400, so we’re expecting it to be significantly better in low light, albeit not quite as good as the A7S.

Sony A7R Mark II
The A7R Mark II also gets the 5-axis in body image stabilisation (IBIS) that’s found in the A7 Mark II for up to 4.5 stops of compensation. This body though, adds 399 phase detect Auto Focus points for MUCH faster focusing. All of this results in an incredibly packed block. I have no idea how they manage to fit it all into the sensor and have it able to move in 5 directions, but it’s a very impressive feat. The body is slightly thicker to make room for the sensor and the grip has been redesigned to be more ergonomic, as in the A7 Mark II.

Much of the other features and controls are carried over from the A7R and we can’t wait to put it through its paces.

As always, we’re happy to help so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions.

Todd Berlin – Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales Todd Berlin - Customer Service Specialist : Online Sales

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I’ve never been the greatest fan of AKG headphones. It’s mostly a brand loyalty thing – I’d usually just go for Sennheiser or Sony in something equivalent. That may now all change thanks to the AKG K490 Noise Cancelling headphones which we recently had a chance to test. They’re solid little headphones and for the price point, I don’t know that there’s an alternative that I like more.

They’re compact and built well. They feel solid in the hands and there’s definitely something ‘premium’ about them. They are the on-ear style rather than over-ear like the Bose and Sony alternatives. Overall though, they’re not actually that heavy, so I don’t see your ears getting sore too quickly as some other on-ear models can do.

The sound quality is very good – I wasn’t expecting it actually. I don’t get any hints of muddiness and the bass is smooth, deep and honestly, ‘just right’, which is most surprising given the size of the headphones. The sound stage is very reasonable. I don’t feel like they draw you in as much as some but the separation is natural and balanced. The mids are clean which I like, and often they’re either scooped or boosted too much in compact headphones this size so again a big thumbs up. The highs are really nice and crisp. Being just slightly too bright on some tracks is really my only gripe, but it’s definitely a minor thing. I like the sound of these more than the QC15’s, maybe even the QC25’s.

Another note – you can still use the headphones when the battery runs out, the noise cancelling obviously just doesn’t work. The Bose QC25’s for example change dramatically in sound quality when the noise cancelling is turned off as there is a lot of digital enhancement to the sound. These K490NC’s however are almost identical whether the noise cancelling is on or off. This was probably one of the things that surprised me the most and it points to high quality components and construction.

On the noise cancelling side of things, it’s ok. It’s impossible to cancel out 100% of noise with on-ear headphones so keeping that in mind they do a good job – definitely sufficient for commuters. Most voices will disappear and consistent background noise is well suppressed, but I found that it was mostly either very loud or transient noises it struggled with.

These are really great value for money headphones and well worth a look in if you’re up for an upgrade or change.

Check out our unboxing video below:

As always, we’re happy to help so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions.