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Electronic Eye

Sydney Video Makers club magazine

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LINK to see club calendar.



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President's Messsage

Rob Nercessian - President

The quickest way to learn film making is to do it !
To that end we have already programed all of hands-on events for the year starting with a pleasant surprise from our newest all-girl team who produced their one-minute production just for our Focus event. (details  below).

I have advised our committee to take robust measures to ensure that we increase your practical events in order to accelerate member participation in all levels of competency.
Paul and Scotty already has those measures in place for Focus nights.
So here is a quick list of what you can do with your Video camera:
  1. You can film our next club night Guest speaker on March 23rd.
  2. Your April One-Minute film titled “Interview” is due on Focus April 13th.
  3. Join our “Outdoor shoot” at Chatswood by Clare and Chris on Sunday April 10th.
  4. Quarterly competition “Romance” for teams and individuals closing date April 27th
  5. You can also screen your personal clip that you made on your own, (Up to 3 minutes) to get some feed back from our members.
You-Tube and on-line resources are useful but unless you have people supporting you / watching your work it will take you longer to make anything good.
I can’t think of any other club that provides this many Videoing opportunities. So It’s up to members to make the next move.
Girl Power:  I was pleased to see our newest members, (the all-girl SVM team) screen their One-minute film in Feb-Focus.

This new team is called“Zen Creatures”
The film they screened was (Shake ‘N Buff)
Good to see enthusiastic people do some homework!
You can see it here
We were delighted to have Zen Creatures not only return to the club but also produce such a challenging film so early in the year.. So thank you ladies.
All members are encouraged to make a 1-Minute Video every month, about any topic. In fact, if you take part in our outdoor shoot on Sunday the April 10th you could edit that into a one minute entry to be shown at the club.

If you can’t edit yet then I (Rob Nercessian) am happy to do that for you for free.

Zen Creatures, are already working on their one minute interview, so get a move on !
 Teams productions..
I am working on re-building more teams. I’d like us to re-establish the more formal structure by having Teams management more central, I will be doing that with your support of course.
If you don’t want to participate in teams activities then that is also acceptable.
I hope to announce the new teams make-up on club night.
Films made by SVM teams should display our club’s logo as recognition of the opportunities and hard work provided by so many who put their personal lives aside to make all of this possible.

Your next big project
The theme for the current Quarterly comp is “Romance”, and I asked members last month to come up with script ideas.

These ideas will turn into a script at your team production meeting. If you can’t get started please call me and I will make it work for you.

I was given a script for “Romance” by a personal friend but it runs over 10 minutes (Too long for the Quarterly). I can give it you to film for Voty (Big Comp) as we are allowed longer durations. Let me know if you want to film it.

A third Mentor joins the Outdoor filming leaders:
Still Photographers often go out in organised groups to capture nature / events with attention given to texture, lens attributes and imagination. They later show their edited photos to their fellow members.
Clare Waterworth and Chris Kembesos and now Lex Haggard will be leading our members to film imaginative aspects of Sydney’s foreshores at Milsons point, or Chatswood, on Sunday April 10th, Weather permitting.
For this non-competitive event we generally meet at a café then split up into groups, You will be surprised how wellyour Videos will look when done properly.
Please email me to register your interest (contact details are on our website).
Membership overdue?   Please pay your membership directly to the club account with the following details:
BSB: 032 - 090
Account: 390 845
Sydney Video Makers Club
President’s film:
My opening film this month will amaze you.. Don’t miss it this Wednesday night.. It will challenge your creativity.. I’ll keep it as a surprise.
Audio visual team:
Paul is our IT guy and he fixed the AV equipment that gave us some problems last month.. Stuart Plant also went to the club during the week to further refine the projection rack.
Thanks guys!
Guest Speaker..
 Don’t miss our special guest this club night:
Our VP Paul Szilard has invited John Maizels to speak to our members and guests.
John is a media technologist. He will give us a rare insight into broadcast technologies that are around the corner, and are filtering down to amateurs and freelance pros. (See website).

Please bring along interested parties this Wednesday night.
Paul will conduct an interview with John Maizels afterwards.. Bring your Camera to capture the interview as extra “Practice”.
You can assist our efforts by promoting SVM vast facilities to outsiders.
See you this Wednesday night: 7:30PM for 8 pm start

Rob Nercessian
Club president, 2016

VP's Message

Paul Szilard - Vice President

Looking Back...


by Paul Szilard

This month was very hands-on, led by Ian (Scotty) Scott. Dealing with the benefits of using external mic instead of the camera's built in variety, and using manual audio recording levels. Attendees were able to practice both with shoe mounted directional mics (known as "Shotgun Mics") and wireless Lavalier lapel mics.

We had a good turn out of people, of varying experience. It was a delight to see some new young members! Feedback I received had been very positive.

Paul Szilard
Vice President


by Scotty

Focus night march was the first of in a series of “Fundamentals Review” sessions. Designed to assist members who needs some assistance with first steps video making technology. The series was developed to answer requests from some Members for lead in assistance with fundamental technology.

This first session quickly reviewed the potential and pitfalls of manual camera operation. Then focussed on the extension of the audio capture capability by using external mics to improve audio quality.  Camcorders and DSLR units were in use to cover the whole gambit of experience.

Participants were able to work with their own cameras, or share with others to get some real hands on experience using some items from the Club’s extensive “Equipment pool”. Items from the pool are freely available to any financial members of the Club.

Ron Cooper (left) with Rob Nercessian (right)

The few photo taken on the night show some enthusiastic hands on workshop action. Our next session in April will concentrate on imaging.  With workshop practice on exposure controls, focusing techniques for dramatic emphasis and of course colour balance control.

Further sessions will gradually include additional content to expand the skills base of the participants.  So don’t miss these sessions if you want to climb that learning curve to get you to a level of proficiency where you can be an effective contributor in your Video team. Don’t forget to bring your camera and manual to these session.


CLUB night

last month we had actor/director/film maker, Andrew Vial, who showed some DVDs of his short films dating back to the days of film. I shiver to think that in those days one had to physically cut and re-join film stock! Auch. Film quality was also certainly not comparable to modern technology!

Paul Szilard

Members Spot



by Scotty (aka Ian Scott)

For some time I had been considering upgrading my Panasonic HDC SD700 Video camera. I needed a better lens, increased media resolution and XLR inputs.  I must admit that some of the DSLR lens and resolution features were enticing.  However, each time I saw one “fully rigged up” with add on gadgets necessary to provide serious functions, such as XLR sound, it turned me off, nor did it look too portable.  I already knew that the higher end SONY professional cameras were out of my budget range and too large and heavy.

I reconfirmed just where and when I would want to use “my new camera”.  Apart from the obvious central role of movie capture I concluded that I needed a good quality, light weight model, suitable for quick action hand held use when travelling and yet still able to do a good job on “a movie set”.

With my stated use specification clearly in mind I began to look around at what was offering. I came across a Canon XA20 in use by an associate (Mark Ward, Ed.).  It had immediate appeal offering several good features.
  1. Part of the Run and Gun professional model range from Canon designed for quick action news gathering work, just right for travelling use.  A detachable handle reduces size and weight.  With the handle detached XA20 looks like a prosumer camcorder.
  2. With the detachable handle in place two XLR channel connections are provided and with dual SD cards, various separate recording channels are possible.
  3. F1.8/2.8 lens with 20x optical zoom.  A pre-focus stop for focus pulling is also provided.  Capture resolution selectable from range AVCHD 28Mbps 50p or MPEG-4 AVC/H.264.
  4. A normal style remote is supplemented by Wi.Fi so that camera view is remotely available on a smart phone or pad and settings can be altered remotely.
  5. As expected, all of the manual and auto settings you might need are provided and accessed by a menu system.  The menu is accessible as a touchpad on the foldout viewfinder or HW installed joystick actuator.  Either method is straightforward to use.
I searched the web and past issues of AUSCAM and found only one other similar offering in the HXR series by SONY.  With a price tag of about $2.8K versus the CANON at $1.8K the XA20 was looking even better and to top it off the SONY still did not offer XLR connections. Next step was to look at some credible reviews on U. tube.  These all came up as very favourable with some added coverage on how to get the best out of the unit.

Next step was to find a supplier. After a web search I purchased on line from Videoguys in QLD. They quoted about $150 less that the best Sydney supplier, and delivered the unit by courier, free of charge.

I have now had about six months experience with the XA20 and I have to say that the results are up to expectation and as stated by CANON.  I can’t identify any particular feature that I do not like.  So far so good.

I selected the camera to meet my particular needs and it seems to do this very well.  I would not hesitate to recommend it to associates if their needs are similar.

Ian Scott - happy CANON XA20 user.
Please email your submission to the Editor.
Send us:
  • Any original video related article (< 500 words)
  • Link to your latest video clip to share
  • Short News item link or heading
  • Link to recommended video related website or article or tutorial
  • Suggestions/requests
  • Constructive criticisms
  • Offers to help in any capacity
  • Requests for needing crew for a video project
  • Etc.

Tech Spot

Mark Ward

Here is a site that the club may find useful: 
I have subscribed to the site, free, and use quite a number of informative tutorials.
Thanks Mark!

4 Sale or Wanted

If you have an item to sell, or want to place "Wanted" advert, then contact email the Editor.

4 Sale

Place Your Ad?

If you are a (financial) Club Member, then send the following information to the Editor.
  • 4Sale or Wanted (which?)
  • Contact: Your name
  • Item: Summary
  • Price: Asking price
  • Options: If any
  • Description: Any details, with photos and links


Club assets that are available for loan to financial members


Audio Kit 1

  1. RODE NTG2 shotgun mic, with RODE Boom Pole and noise breaking "Blimp"
  2. RODE FilmMaker radio mic (Lavalier)
  3. Audio Pre-Amp
  4. Carry Bag

Audio Kit 2

  1. RODE NTG2 shotgun mic, with RODE Boom Pole and noise breaking "Blimp"
  2. RODE FilmMaker radio mic (Lavalier)
  3. Audio Pre-Amp
  4. Carry Bag

Lighting Equipment

Items available separately
  1. LED light panel with mains PSU and stand
  2. LED light panel with mains PSU and stand (2nd unit)
  3. Dedo Halogen 150W focusable spot light, mains powered

Miscellaneous Items

  1. Camera Crane (aka JIB) with stand

Loan Procedures

  • Club assets can be borrowed by club members that are financial, for club related shooting.
  • To book any items, please contact the Asset Manager and check availability.
  • The borrowing member is responsible for returning the items in the same condition they were in when borrowed. Damage or loss are the responsibility of the borrower.

See you at the meeting - and email me your thoughts!

Paul Szilard
SVMC Vice President
Comp & Asset Manager | EE Editor | Dog's Body

Click to email Paul now
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