More information about Pilentum Television and Markus Lenz
Pilentum Television, abbreviated to Pilentum, was founded on August 21, 2011 by Markus Lenz. For more than ten years, Markus Lenz operates this YouTube channel, which has developed into one of the largest and most popular channels for model trains. He shoots videos of model trains, edits the video footage, adds sounds and self-composed background music and publishes his motion pictures on YouTube and on other video streaming services. Markus Lenz holds an degree as Master of Business Administration and works in the field of strategic management consulting, employed by a management consulting firm in Germany. At the same time, he is also director, cinematographer and film producer for Pilentum.
Figure: Markus Lenz
He loves working with digital image and video editing. He likes to work with modern television cameras to get the best video quality. Moreover, that is the most important thing, he tries to use modern camera technology in such a way that miniature worlds are documented in a nearly realistic way. Markus Lenz has learned autodidactically that the best results are not only achieved when filming with a camera mounted on a tripod, but also when unique camera positions and point of views are used when filming model train layouts.
Cameras that are used in video productions for Pilentum Television
One of the first cameras to be used for video productions is the excellent Panasonic HVX 200. The Panasonic HVX 200 is a fixed-lens hybrid camcorder that allows file-based recording onto P2 cards. The imaging section employs a 3CCD system with 1/3 inch sensors, each having about 520,000 photosites. High definition resolution is achieved by both horizontal and vertical spatial offset and pixel shifting. The camcorder is capable of recording in several high-definition video formats, for example, DVCPRO HD 720p (1280×720) or 1080p (1920×1080) at 100 Mbit/s.
Figure: Panasonic HVX 200 camcorder
However, in order to use better camera positions for model trains layouts, a much smaller camera had to be used. Therefore, most of the video productions were made with the user-friendly Panasonic HDC SD 600 camcorder. The Panasonic HDC SD 600 is a fixed-lens hybrid camcorder that allows file-based recording onto SD, SD-HC or SD-XC FLASH memory cards. The imaging section employs a 3CMOS system with 1/4.1 inch sensors. The camcorder is capable of recording in 1080p50 progressive recording mode (1920×1080) at 25 Mbit/s. The low video data rate of AVCHD is absolutely sufficient for online videos on YouTube. The biggest advantage is the lens system providing a shorter focal length of 3.45 - 41.4 mm, i.e. you can film much closer to small objects.
Figure: Panasonic HDC SD 600 camcorder
Figure: Panasonic HDC SD 600 camcorder
For videos that include the train drivers view, cameras are used that were developed for the normal consumer market. However, they are used in a completely different way. The first really usable camera for videos from the train driver's view was the JVC Adixxion GC XA 2. When JVC entered the market for action cameras, the Adixxion GC-XA1 was initially offered, but it delivered poor image quality. Later, the JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 was released. It is a small action cam using full-size SD-HC and SD-XC memory cards. The camera has a removable, rechargeable battery. Using an 8 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, the JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 can record in Full HD mode (1920x1080) at 50 frames per second. Furthermore, the camera is equipped with a digital image stabilization system. To shorten the focal length of the camera, Markus Lenz installed special macro lenses in front of the fixed camera lens. In operation, the camera is coupled to a very flat rail car in front of the locomotive.
Figure: JVC Adixxion GC XA 2 camera
Because the track system on model train layouts is always subject to vibrations, the DJI Osmo Pocket camera is used. The camera has a three-axis stabilized gimbal that ensures smooth video footage. This tiny handheld camera uses a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor and shoots video in 4K with 50.00 fps (PAL) or 59.94 fps (NTSC). The camera is also used to capture the car drivers view on the famous Faller-Car micro vehicle system. The DJI Osmo Pocket allows file-based recording onto microSD cards and is capable of recording in several ultra-high-definition video formats at 100 Mbit/s.
Figure: DJI Osmo Pocket camera
In addition to the DJI Osmo Pocket camera, the RUNCAM camera is also used for video recordings on model roads and miniature streets. The camera is mounted on the chassis of a miniature vehicle (bus or truck) and follows the magnetic wire that is installed under the road surface. The RUNCAM camera is similar to the Polaroid cube camera but offers much better technical features. The old RUNCAM 5 or the new RUNCAM Orange 4K allow file-based recording onto microSD cards. The RUNCAM camera is equipped with a SONY IMX 377 image sensor and records video files in 4K with 29.97 fps, 2.7K with 50.00 fps or 1080p with 59.94 fps. The RUNCAM camera is mainly used on miniature cars. Of course, you can also use the camera for filming model trains.
Figure: RUNCAM 5
Figure: RUNCAM Orange 4K
For a few months the JVC GY-HM 620 camera was used. It is an advanced handheld ProHD camcorder with three 1/3 inch 12-bit CMOS sensors. The camera uses a 23x Fujinon zoom lens with an aperture range of F 1.6 to F 3.0 - that is spectacular for such a focal length. For video productions in UHD quality, Pilentum Television uses the JVC GY-HC 500 camera. This camcorder features an one inch CMOS image sensor for uncompromised cinema and video production. The JVC GY-HC 500 camera is equipped with a wide-angle 20x optical zoom lens, including triple large rings for zoom, focus and iris. The camcorder allows file-based recording onto M2 SSD in ProRes 4:2:2 (10-bit). The JVC GY-HC 500 camera is capable of recording in several ultra high-definition video formats, for example, ProRes 422 LT, ProRes 422 or ProRes 422 HQ up to 1,475 Mbit/s.
Figure: JVC GY-HC 500 camera
Ambient music and background music
Not only the big Hollywood movies, but also small model train videos need the right background music. Two electric pianos, so-called keyboards, are used for this: The ROLAND EXR-7s Interactive Arranger (Music Workstation) and the KORG Pa700 Professional Music Entertainer Workstation. Both music devices have such beautiful music styles integrated that it is very easy to create beautiful background music with just a few chords. The KORG company also offers free music styles that are suitable for the arranger workstations Pa4X MUSIKANT, Pa4X INTERNATIONAL, Pa1000, Pa700 and others, i.e. an inexhaustible source of creative music.
Figure: KORG Pa700 Professional Music Workstation by courtesy of KORG, Inc.
Do you have spent many years in building a model railroad layout? Wouldn't it be nice if you could present your model train layout to the world? Pilentum Television offers you this opportunity: You can reach an audience of millions and present your model rail layout on Pilentum’s YouTube channel. There are no costs for you. Please write to the email address below.
post @ pilentum-television.com
Published on January 13, 2023