Heroic Productions is a Minneapolis-based audio, lighting and video company that stages and produces meetings, concerts, and special events. Most of our audio/visual events rely on image magnification—displayed on large screens—from live camera feeds, as part of the presentation. I'm an engineer and one of several camera operators who use the Grass Valley Infinity Digital Media Camcorder for these shoots, and I can't say enough about the great quality and flexibility of the camera.
I come from a broadcast background, and have long been a fan of Grass Valley's signal processing technology. I know that it makes great pictures and the system is built very ruggedly to withstand the rigors of daily production.
Earlier this year we took delivery of two Infinity camcorders with Fujinon 23x and 17x HD lenses. These were paired with Telecast Fiber Systems CopperHead INF camera-mounted fiber optic transceiver units that allow us to use the Infinity as both a camcorder and an HD/SD SDI studio production camera for multi-camera jobs. This fiber system delivers bidirectional HD/SD-SDI, composite video, audio, intercom, genlock, and camera control between the Infinity camera head and the remote base station via a single lightweight fiber optic cable.
Many AV productions still use multi-core cables, but I don't think that's the best way to capture and send images. When I heard about the relationship between Grass Valley and Telecast Fiber Systems, I thought what better deal than to have an ENG camera that could be easily converted to a studio configuration. This allows us to use our Infinity cameras in two different ways—for ENG, or on a tripod with a studio viewfinder—and we often use both configurations on a project.
Another big plus with the Infinity package is that it can be controlled by the Grass Valley OCP unit. This allows me to paint the images and make the cameras match perfectly.
PLENTY OF STORAGE OPTIONS
I also like recording to the REV PRO media, because it allows us to access files and transfer them rapidly into our Apple Final Cut Pro system quickly. There's no transcoding necessary; the FCP timeline immediately recognizes files captured with Infinity and we can begin editing. And I've never had an issue with reliability, or lost any data with REV PRO media—ever. And if I need to, I can also use the Compact Flash card inside the camera for short recordings, if I need to. We even have captured media directly to a hard drive, so the flexibility in video storage is better than with most other systems.
As for individual features, the menu structures on the Infinity are very intuitive and easy to use, and I can't really say that about some of the other cameras on the market. I can quickly find and access settings on the camera without the need for a separate controller. I also like the way the Infinity camera sits on my shoulder—I happen to like a camera that has a little heft to it, as I feel this provides better image stability. The Infinity also gives me a long battery life.
Compared to other cameras in the industry, the Infinity offers so many more features for the money. And with such great image quality, you can't go wrong, no matter what type of projects you are shooting.
Dustin Dancisak has been with Heroic Productions for three years, and designs many of the video projects for the company. He may be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information contact Grass Valley at 800-547-8949 or visitwww.grassvalley.com.