provisiondirect, buy video camera, camcorder purchase

Today I was caught up with the need to buy a decent camcorder and a few accessories. In the past we have used Sony HVR-Z1 cameras (the same used on the BBC Blast tour) which are well featured and durable, and produce great shots for video work. Sadly, they are now discontinued, and although there is a strong second-hand market for them, it is sometimes better to upgrade.

So up steps the Sony HVR-Z5. Almost identical, but with better optics, more considered ergonomics and additional settings in almost every feature it is a direct replacement and all of the Z1 accessories will still fit. This looked like the right piece of kit, but who to buy from? With almost every site in a google search for camcorders returning some price comparison or review site it is easy to find these things reasonably cheap (OK – 2,500 isn’t cheap, exactly). The thing is, they are mostly offered for sale with the standard one year warranty, and I had hoped for slightly more.

As usual, for all things video we call a select list of suppliers. Today we were delighted with the service from Jeremy at This company has an enviable reputation for great value and excellent product range. We have recommended them to clients looking to purchase kit, and indeed we have made one or two modest purchases there ourselves. Today was the day for buying again!

Jeremy is one of the most knowledgeable and friendly folk when it comes to pro and prosumer video gear. He is often very busy, but when you do get him, he finds the most brilliant pieces of kit for you, and tells you exactly ‘how it is’ with everything. After talking to Jeremy today I was satisfied that they still provide one of the best routes to buying kit, and the value he gives is second to none. So it was that we bought a Z5 with 2 year warranty at probably the most competitive price available. Not content with that Jeremy also added a few extras for us, which was brilliant… unexpected and not asked for. That’s the kind of person you are dealing with – full of information and very willing to help.

It is with great pleasure that I recommend to anyone looking to purchase a decent video camera, lighting, accessories, sound equipment, anything related to video, really

Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning

It is with great pleasure I find myself trekking around Yorkshire again, revisiting schools we used as case studies in 2007 when working for YHGfL to produce ‘Virtually There: Learning Platform Research’. This publication was probably the first of its kind in the UK and for 2007 was fairly comprehensive in what it attempted to do. Launched at the annual conference in Castleford, the publication was accompanied by a DVD which held film clips of the teachers actively involved in implementing learning platforms. It was a lovely piece of work to be involved in.

So when we were asked if we would revisit the same schools to capture the next steps in their journey, and create ‘Virtually Where?”, we were delighted! This new project will explore the progress made in two years and once again be presented at the annual conference. This time, however, it will be an entirely online affair, with videos forming the majority of the experience. Our role is to interview, capture, edit and produce the site and content. Wonderful.

In the course of our first trip to one of the most beautiful counties in England, we happened upon Compo’s Cafe. Anyone who has ever heard of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ will know immediately who Compo was! We went past it before, but didn’t have an opportunity to stop… this time we did, however. Whilst the restaurant was pretty full and busy, the take away chippie was fine – we ordered a portion of chips and sat outside ion the Yorkshire sunshine watching the world go by. A blissful 20 minutes in a hectic schedule! If you get the chance, visit Yorkshire. And even better, grab a bag of chips from Compo’s Cafe!

Compo's Cafe, Holmfirth
Compo's Cafe, Holmfirth