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Pilentum Television's Video Equipment

Many viewers and friends of Pilentum Television often ask what video equipment is used to produce model train videos. Therefore Markus Lenz, the author of Pilentum Television, has written this webpage, where you can see many photos of which cameras are used. Apart from the cameras, video editing is the most important task. Although the market offers many video editing programs, only a few systems are suitable to realize a high quality video bitrate and detailed colour correction. For some years, Pilentum’s videos have also included music, so finally it is important to describe how this music is produced.

The man behind Pilentum Television: Markus Lenz

Figure: Markus Lenz (Pilentum Television)


Panasonic AG HVX 200

The Panasonic AG - HVX 200 is a fixed-lens hybrid camcorder. Markus bought this camera in July 2006. The camcorder allows file-based recording onto P2 cards. The imaging section employs a 3 CCD system with 1/3 inch sensors. The camcorder is capable of recording in several standard-definition and high-definition video formats. The image is always scanned progressively at 1920 × 1080 resolution, then is downsized to target frame size, for example DVCPRO HD 720p (50 fps, 1280 × 720) or DVCPRO HD 1080p (25 fps, 1920 x 1080). In 720p mode the camcorder offers variable shooting rates for overcranking or undercranking (“Slow Motion”).

The camera does record 50 frames per second in HD mode (1280 x 720), but only 25 frames per second in Full HD mode (1920 x 1080). Nevertheless the camcorder is popular with professional film and television companies. The BBC used the HVX to shoot all their coverage of the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, the Fox Television Network is using P2 exclusively at all network owned-and-operated stations. The camera is now 14 years old! But the HVX delivers one of the best television pictures you have ever seen.

WHERE TO BUY
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (worldwide)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Austria)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Vlaanderen)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Wallonie)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Canada EN)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Canada FR)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Switzerland)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Great Britain)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Australia)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Germany)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Spain)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (France)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Ireland)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Italy)
Panasonic HVX 200 on eBay (Nederland)

Using the Panasonic HVX 200 with external video monitor

Figure: Using the Panasonic HVX 200 with external video monitor

Panasonic HVX 200 internal display

Figure: Panasonic HVX 200 internal display

Inside Pilentum’s video studio

Figure: Inside Pilentum’s video studio

Using an O scale freight car as camera slider

Figure: Using an O scale freight car as camera slider

Video setup 1/500 shutter and 50 frames per second

Figure: Video setup 1/500 shutter and 50 frames per second

Panasonic HVX 200 while shooting model railways

Figure: Panasonic HVX 200 while shooting model railways

Self-made camera slider (O scale locomotive and Panasonic HVX 200 on a freight car)

Figure: Self-made camera slider (O scale locomotive and Panasonic HVX 200 on a freight car)

Passing the locomotive depot

Figure: Passing the locomotive depot


Panasonic HDC SD 600

A large television camera is not suitable in special shooting situations and locations. So Markus was looking for a small, compact camcorder. He bought one of Panasonic’s finest consumer high definition camcorders, namely the Panasonic HDC-SD600. The camera is working in 1080p progressive recording mode by using a proprietary variation of the AVCHD format. The camera does record 50 frames per second in Full HD mode (1920 x 1080). Pixel shifting is not used. The focal length is 3.45 - 41.4 mm and the fixed lens is relatively sensitive to light.

The Panasonic model HDC-SD600, but also the models HDC-HS700, HDC-TM700 and HDC-SD700, make recordings to SD, SD-HC or SD-XC FLASH memory cards. Because the Panasonic HDC-SD600 belongs to the consumer camcorder sector, there is no electronic viewfinder, no microphone or earphone connectors, no accessory shoe and no manual zoom or focusing ring. Furthermore the camera is equipped with a 1/4.1 inch image sensor only. At that time, Panasonic switched from CCD to CMOS technology, so the HDC-SD600 uses a 3-sensor setup, which is called “3MOS”.

WHERE TO BUY
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (worldwide)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Austria)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Vlaanderen)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Wallonie)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Canada EN)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Canada FR)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Switzerland)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Great Britain)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Australia)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Germany)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Spain)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (France)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Ireland)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Italy)
Panasonic HDC Camcorder on eBay (Nederland)

Camera positioned directly on the model railway layout

Figure: Camera positioned directly on the model railway layout

Special video angle below the railway overhead line

Figure: Special video angle below the railway overhead line

Using the Panasonic HDC-SD600 camera for cab ride videos

Figure: Using the Panasonic HDC-SD600 camera for cab ride videos

Camera installed on a freight wagon (1 Gauge)

Figure: Camera installed on a freight wagon (1 Gauge)


JVC Adixxion GC XA 2

A special camera that is used regularly on Pilentum Television is the JVC Adixxion GC-XA2. This action camera, optimized with a macro lens, is often used for making cab ride videos. When JVC started its first attempt to discover the market for action cameras, the model “Adixxion GC-XA1” has been produced. The first model (“Type XA 1”) has delivered a poor image quality and is not recommended! But the second model’s video quality is overall excellent (“Type XA 2”).

The JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 is a small action cam using full-size SD-HC/SD-XC memory cards. The camera has a removable, rechargeable battery. With an 8-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, the JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 can record in Full HD mode (1920 x 1080) at 50 frames per second. Furthermore, a gyro sensor has been added to improve the camera’s digital image stabilization.

WHERE TO BUY
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (worldwide)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Austria)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Vlaanderen)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Wallonie)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Canada EN)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Canada FR)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Switzerland)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Great Britain)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Australia)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Germany)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Spain)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (France)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Ireland)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Italy)
JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 on eBay (Nederland)

JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 camera in action

Figure: JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 camera in action

The correct speed is determined with a measuring instrument

Figure: The correct speed is determined with a measuring instrument

Lead weights lie on the flat freight wagon for stabilization

Figure: Lead weights lie on the flat freight wagon for stabilization

Using the PEDCO ULTRACLAMP tripod with JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 camera

Figure: Using the PEDCO ULTRACLAMP tripod with JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 camera

Also here a piece of wood on the flat wagon for stabilization

Figure: Also here a piece of wood on the flat wagon for stabilization

JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 optimized with a macro lens

Figure: JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 optimized with a macro lens

The camera fits just under the catenary (overhead line)

Figure: The camera fits just under the catenary (overhead line)

The large macro lens ensures a sharp image and minimum focal length

Figure: The large macro lens ensures a sharp image and minimum focal length


RUNCAM 5

While the JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 is very well usable for filming in HO scale or OO gauge, the camera is too big for smaller scales, for example N scale. Therefore, Markus uses the camera “RunCam 5”, a superb cube camera (dimension: 38 x 38 x 36 mm or 1.49 x 1.49 x 1.42 inches). This camera is mainly used to film cab rides on miniature cars, for example on the “Faller Road System”. Originally, the camera was developed for RC flying, especially for drones (video piloting). The camera is equipped with a SONY IMX 377 image sensor and records video files in 4K@30fps, 2.7K@50fps, 1080P@120fps, 1080P@60fps and 1440P@60fps.

WHERE TO BUY
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (worldwide)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Austria)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Vlaanderen)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Wallonie)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Canada EN)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Canada FR)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Switzerland)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Great Britain)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Australia)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Germany)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Spain)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (France)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Ireland)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Italy)
RUNCAM 5 on eBay (Nederland)

Using the RUNCAM 5 for miniature cars

Figure: Using the RUNCAM 5 for miniature cars

The camera is mounted on the body of a bus

Figure: The camera is mounted on the body of a bus

RUNCAM 5 mounted on a model railway freight car

Figure: RUNCAM 5 mounted on a model railway freight car

Perfect for the Faller Road System (1/87 scale)

Figure: Perfect for the Faller Road System (1/87 scale)

Using the RUNCAM 5 for model railroading videos

Figure: Using the RUNCAM 5 for model railroading videos

Pilentum’s camera car on miniature roads

Figure: Pilentum’s camera car on miniature roads


JVC GY-HC 550 and JVC GY-HM 660

Markus has kindly received a pre-series model of the JVC GY-HC 550 camera from JVC Germany. He also received a JVC GY-HM 660 camera for testing. While the JVC GY-HC 550 camera operates in Ultra High Definition video mode, the JVC GY-HM 660 camera records in Full HD only.

The GY-HM 660 is JVC's latest and most advanced handheld mobile news camera. The camcorder is equipped with a high quality Fujinon wide angle 23x zoom lens. The lens offers a focal range of 29 mm - 667 mm (35 mm equivalent) and includes servo zoom, manual focus and iris rings. Other features include an optical image stabilizer and chromatic aberration correction. At the heart of the GY-HM 660 are three 1/3 inch 12-bit CMOS sensors, each capable of capturing Full HD video resolution images.

The JVC GY-HC 550 camera is the latest flagship for broadcasting and video production in Ultra HD (4K) mode. This camcorder features a 1 inch CMOS image sensor for uncompromised cinema and video production. The GY-HC 550, also the GY-HC 500 camera, is equipped with a wide-angle 20x optical zoom lens, including triple large rings for zoom, focus and iris. There are plenty of media options including SD-HC, SD-XC and SDD. Unfortunately, recording on M2 SSD memory cards in ProRes 4:2:2 (10-bit) at 50 fps or at 60 fps was not yet technically possible with that pre-series model of the JVC GY-HC 550. So Pilentum had made video records in 4K with only 29,97 fps.

WHERE TO BUY
JVC GY-HM 660 on eBay (worldwide)
JVC GY-HC 550 on eBay (worldwide)
JVC GY-HC 500 on eBay (worldwide)

Testing the JVC GY-HC 550 and JVC GY-HM 660 camera

Figure: Testing the JVC GY-HC 550 and JVC GY-HM 660 camera


Grass Valley EDIUS Broadcast

Edius is a video editing software for PC computers running the Windows operating system. Markus is using this non-linear editor (NLE) since it was developed in 2003. Edius works with most modern video formats, especially Panasonic’s DVCPRO HD codec, etc. Markus was looking for a good video editing software that works without problems. And indeed, Markus had never received a so called “blue screen” (crash) under Windows while running Edius.

The software is supplied with a variety of functions. But the most important feature is the great color correction function (“Primary Color Correction” and “3-Way Color Correction). Other core competencies: Superior 4K HDR workflow, editing media files with different resolutions, real-time conversion of frame rates on the same timeline, fastest AVCHD editing on the market, high quality slow-motion (“optical flow”) and high speed stabilizer and much more.

WHERE TO BUY
EDIUS PRO on eBay (worldwide)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Austria)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Vlaanderen)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Wallonie)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Canada EN)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Canada FR)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Switzerland)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Great Britain)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Australia)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Germany)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Spain)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (France)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Ireland)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Italy)
EDIUS PRO on eBay (Nederland)

Primary Color Correction on Grass Valley EDIUS PRO

Figure: Primary Color Correction on Grass Valley EDIUS PRO

EDIUS PRO and its excellent white balance function

Figure: EDIUS PRO and its excellent white balance function

Video vectorscope to visualize chrominance and color saturation

Figure: Video vectorscope to visualize chrominance and color saturation


ROLAND EXR-7s KEYBOARD

Although there is an audio library from YouTube and other royalty-free music portals, Markus uses only his own music in Pilentum Television’s videos. Since Markus masters some chords, melodies and harmonies on the piano, Pilentum Television’s movies have been accompanied by music for several years now. For the music production a keyboard more than twelve years old is used, namely the Roland EXR-7s. The EXR-7s is a 76-key professional music arranger and provides 510 high quality instrument sounds, 20 drum kits and an amazingly realistic stereo piano sound. The EXR-7s features also 164 music styles and a real-time style re-orchestration. With the built-in USB port gives the possibility to interface with various computer software programs, for example Steinberg’s Cubase.

WHERE TO BUY
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (worldwide)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Austria)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Vlaanderen)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Wallonie)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Canada EN)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Canada FR)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Switzerland)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Great Britain)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Australia)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Germany)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Spain)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (France)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Ireland)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Italy)
ROLAND EXR-7s on eBay (Nederland)


Contact

Telephone: 0049 69 - 2475 - 1767
E-Mail: post @ pilentum-television.com


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