Plasma Productions

Your local videography studio

Serving upstate New York, since 2008

Technical Specifications

Digital Cinema is Our Standard

Introducing 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) Cinema-Quality Video

Plasma Productions is one of the first production companies in upstate New York to offer the exciting new option of 4K Ultra-HD video. This option is perfect for future-proofing your videos and ensuring that they are high enough quality for distribution in movie theaters and/or broadcast television. 4K UHD video is 4 times higher resolution than 1080p "full HD" video. This means over 8 million pixels per frame, with 30 frames every second, for a total of over 240 million pixels displayed every second.

The chart above compares four different video resolutions. First is standard definition 480p, the standard resolution for DVDs. Next is 720p, the resolution of many high definition televisions and blu-ray discs. Next is 1080p or "full HD." This is the lowest resolution that we offer, and it is still higher quality than most HD television screens. Finally, dwarfing all other resolutions is 4K UHD, the standard for digital cinema projection in movie theaters. This is the level of quality we now offer to you.

Gear matters.  Even today, many videographers still settle for shooting in mere 480p "standard definition" resolution, because they don't want to invest the money in high definition gear.  Others will say that they offer high definition, but it's really just 720p. Even those who offer so-called "full HD video" can't compete with our cinema 4K UHD video.

Don't be fooled. Plasma Productions only shoots real high definition video, no cheap imitations. 

Why shoot your project in 4K UHD? 

  • Future-proof your project. Ever watched an old VHS tape and laughed at how cheesy, campy, and just plain bad the quality was? That tape used to be cutting edge technology! How do you think your video will look in 10 years when new and better quality video is available? Future-proof your project now by staying ahead of the curve of changing technology. 4K is already the standard for movie theater projection, and will soon become the new standard for broadcast television and home theater. Shoot your project in 4K UHD now so you won't need to re-shoot it again later.
  • Better 1080p for Broadcast Standards. Did you know that 4K video downscaled to 1080p looks sharper than video that shot in 1080p to begin with? Downscaling from a higher resolution preserves more detail and reduces graininess. Downscaling from 4K to 1080p also produces a color space that meets and exceeds all television broadcast standards, because 4K video has four times more color information than regular HD. Even if your video is going to be distributed in 1080p, 720p, or 480p, shooting in 4K and downscaling produces the highest level of quality.
  • More Options for Editing. 4K UHD video can be cropped up to 200% while still maintaining full HD quality. This means a wide shot can be cropped to become a closeup or digitally stabilized in post to make handheld footage look like it was shot on a Steadicam. Footage shot with a single camera can even be made to look as if it were shot with two cameras. Make your video more dynamic with the creative editing possibilities of 4K!
We purchased some of the latest and greatest equipment on the market, because we believe in quality. Some videographers won't tell you what equipment they're using, but we tell you up front, because we're proud of our gear.
 
The Sony A7S II: 4K Video Ready for the Big Screen
 

We use the Sony A7S II - Sony's newest camera in the popular A7 lineup - to shoot 4K video at full resolution, or 1080p in super slow motion. The Sony A7S II is equipped with a full frame 35mm image sensor, the standard size for motion picture film production. The large sensor size means shallower depth of field for cinematic applications and more light sensitivity for shooting in dimly lit environments.

Our A7S II is equipped with dual XLR audio inputs for professional audio recording. Our rigs include Glidecam and shoulder mount for stable handheld shooting, 10 hour Anton Bauer batteries for the ability to shoot continuously for long periods of time, enough professional media to record 4 hours of 4K video without stopping, and a kit of six lenses including:

  • 14mm T3.1 fisheye lens
  • 28mm f2 wide-angle lens
  • 50mm T1.5 normal lens
  • 85mm f1.4 telephoto lens
  • 135mm T2.2 telephoto closeup lens
  • 24-240mm superzoom lens with 10x zoom

The Sony EX1: For Full HD Video So Sharp You Can Practically Cut Yourself On It

Our Sony CINEALTA PMW-EX1s are one of the top rated HD camcorders of all time. Equipped not one but three 1/2" sensors that are twice the size of a typical camcorder sensor, coupled with a 14x zoom lens with an f1.9 wide aperture across the entire zoom range, the EX1 provides truly unprecedented sharpness and low-light capability. This camera can practically see in the dark, allowing us to capture stunning HD images even in dimly lit environments.

Our Sony EX1s record full HD 1080p resolution video onto SXS cards, professional solid state disks that are twice are reliable as your typical memory card. Media from SXS cards can be quickly and efficiently logged and transferred into our editing computers, making for a more efficient workflow and faster turnaround time. The media is recorded in the XDCAM EX codec, used by broadcasters worldwide, and boasting nearly twice the bitrate of most HD formats.

Our Sony EX1s are one of the sharpest 1080p HD cameras ever developed, able to resolve over 1,000 TV lines of sharpness, practically the maximum sharpness possible in an HD image. The lens has three manual rings for control of aperture, focus, and zoom, and the peaking and expanded focus features coupled with the depth of field meter and histogram - features not found on most camcorders - allow us to nail the perfect focus and exposure every time.

The detailed scene file setup menu gives us unprecedented control over every aspect of the image - from coloration to sharpness - allowing us to manipulate contrast, gamma curves, and white/black balance to get exactly the "look" you want. The XLR audio inputs allow us to hook up to any professional microphone or audio mixing board. The battery life is phenomenal. Currently we can shoot up to 220 minutes of the highest quality HD video at a time without stopping.

But picture is only half of the experience!

Audio is just as important. Our audio equipment includes the Azden SGM-2X shotgun microphone for pristine audio clarity, and an Azden WMS-PRO wireless clip-on lavaliere microphone for focusing in on the voice of a single person, even in a noisy room.  And with our Tascam DR-40 audio field recorder, we can capture professional quality audio even when shooting on a DSLR.

Photography and Time-Lapse Video

In addition to taking professional 20-megapixel photographs, our Samsung Galaxy NX mirrorless DSLR style camera also shoots beautiful full HD video.  Its huge APS-C sensor produces the effects of Super35mm film in digital form - resulting in far more cinematic looking images than a traditional camcorder is capable of.  Interchangeable lenses allow us to get exactly the "look" you want - whether that be a wide-angle shot of a vast landscape or a super-telephoto shot of a person a quarter mile away. The Samsung Galaxy NX is also ideal for shooting 5K digital IMAX resolution time-lapse video and stop-motion animations at up to 20 megapixels per frame, approximately ten times the resolution of even the best HDTVs!

Steadicam? We Can Do That!

Engineered from the same technology used in the Steadicam, our Glidecam HD2000 is an advanced stabilization system that enables us to smoothly "fly" a camera through the air without any of the bumps and shakiness found in traditional handheld video.  With the Glidecam HD2000 we can produce beautiful tracking shots, gliding the camera smoothly through a space, or smoothly following a person as he or she walks, as if the camera were floating right alongside them.  The Glidecam accomplishes the same task as a dolly or job crane, but is much less intrusive, making it ideal for capturing live events and showcasing scenic locations.  Don't be fooled by cheap imitations - many videographers claim to offer Glidecam services, but few have the real equipment or the proper training. Operating a Glidecam is a skill that takes a great deal of practice to master.  Our Glidecam operator, Matthew Elton, has spent several years honing his skills and practicing with various models including the Steadicam Pilot. He received professional Glidecam training through a semester-long camera stabilization course at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Old-School Meets New-School

Our little Canon HV20 offers a great way to add an additional camera angle to a scene. This legacy camera enables us to capture and archive HDV videotapes. Despite the small size, the HV20 shoots 1080 resolution HD video.  We've been using this little guy for years, and the video that this camera outputs can rival even some of the larger cameras in quality. We use the HV20 on complex multicamera shoots that require a fourth or even fifth camera angle! It also makes a great stunt camera for mounting to a moving vehicle, filming an explosion, etc.

Editing

Of course, shooting video and recording audio is just the beginning of what we offer.  We also work with the Final Cut Pro 6 and Final Cut Pro X editing suites to offer you advanced video and audio editing.  With Final Cut Pro X, we can synchronize up to 64 camera angles into a single multiclip sequence to efficiently edit even the most complex and demanding video shoots. With Apple Color, we can add cinematic color correction to your video.  With Soundtrack Pro 3, we can create an advanced audio mix of music, sound effects, and narration.  With Livetype and Motion 4, we can create advanced titles, logos, and animation. With Toast Titanium, we can burn your videos to a professional quality DVD with custom menus. Or we can use Compressor 3.5 to optimize your videos for internet streaming.

 Whatever your video needs, we're here to offer creative and affordable solutions!

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