The best lens for the Panasonic GH5, GH5S or the JVC LS300…Olympus 12-100mm f4 PRO (£900) UPDATED

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Having had a few micro four third lenses over the past few years and been asked what is your all time best lens, I could not answer this question till now.

The answer has to be the 12-100 f4 Olympus PRO lens which gives stunning optical performance and the best news for GH5S owners is it also comes with image stabilisation (IS) built into the lens.

I bought this lens specifically for my documentary on Arran in July this year as I wanted a lens that would sit on the camera without the need to keep transferring from one focal length to another, this helps the sensor, keeping dust to a minimum.

This is a cracking lens for any micro four third mount camera and converting it to an equivelant 35mm its a 24-200mm constant f4 lens.

  • Professional 8.3x travel zoom lens
  • Constant 1:4.0 aperture
  • Dust-, splash- and freezeproof
  • 1.5cm minimum working distance for extreme close-up performance
  • Combines up to 6.5 EV steps** compensation when used with compatible Olympus camera and built-in 5-axis Sync IS
  • Z Coating Nano to significantly reduce flaring
  • High-precision, very fast AF
  • L-Fn button and focus clutch
  • Weight: only 561g

The JVC LS300 has been missing a good all round zoom lens and onto the super 35mm sensor this 12-100 f4 Olympus PRO lens is perfect. Please remember the JVC LS300 has a super 35mm sensor with a micro four third mount and you use the VSM (Variable scan mapping) to adjust for the MFT lens.

Using the lens with the LS300 you get all autofocus and image stabilisation functions, though the great design of this lens lets you quickly move from AF to manual focus at the touch of the front lens flange by pulling it back.

Its also not very front heavy as I was first expecting and remember you also get the ability to zoom into the 4K sensor using the camera in HD mode as if you had a servo zoom, great feature with no loss in picture quality or “f” stops.

 

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

New London office for CVP

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New fancy offices for CVP at Newman Street in the heart of London, not far from the British Museum, very 221b Baker Street looking.

CVP, one of the leading broadcast and professional video solutions provider in the United Kingdom and Europe, is excited to announce the opening of a unique showroom in Newman Street, London. The Fitzrovia townhouse offers five floors of production equipment from leading manufacturers, including ARRI, RED, Sony, Canon, Zeiss, Panasonic, Blackmagic Design and many more, presenting an experience that enables visitors to identify a technical solution that will deliver on their creative vision.

“The concept behind the Newman Street facility is to provide visitors with an engaging, personalised experience in an environment designed to connect creative vision and technology. This permanent display of equipment is a playground where people can come to see, handle and test every single bit of kit required to bring their project to life,” said Jon Fry, Sales Director, CVP. “From an HDMI cable all the way to large format cameras and everything else in between, this creative space gives everyone in the industry a place to learn new skills and get hands on all the latest kit, all year round.”

CVP’s exceptionally knowledgeable team will be on hand at the new premises to advise visitors about the features, functions and compatibility of the equipment for their unique requirements.

The CVP Creative Experience currently houses:

  • A dedicated Canon floor with a selection of the main Canon PRO and Consumer cameras, plus third party manufacturer accessories, and a separate room with Canon DP monitors
  • A floor exclusive to Sony with a selection of the main Sony PRO and Consumer cameras, along with third party manufacturer accessories
  • Europe’s largest display of Zeiss lenses; visitors may bring their own cameras to test them with, or choose from the selection available in the showroom
  • A Blackmagic Design suite with a DaVinci Resolve editing space and other Blackmagic Design products such as switchers, converters, recorders, adapters and more
  • Cameras from ARRI, RED, Panasonic and Blackmagic Design
  • Lenses from Angenieux, Leica, Canon, Sigma, Sony, Kowa and more
  • Gimbals and accessories from partners such as DJI, Freefly, eMotimo, 1A Tools, Cinemilled
  • Camera accessories from Wooden Camera, Vocas, Zacuto, Small Rig, Miller, Sachtler, Ronford Baker, OConnor, Manfrotto, Anton Bauer, Hawkwoods and more

In addition, visitors can utilise the Camera Testing Area to rig and test their newly purchased kit, or any custom solution they may have built with the showroom’s equipment, to ensure they are happy with the whole package before investing in it.

There is also a Motion Room filled with the main gimbals to explore the most suitable for specific needs, and a Monitor Wall with the best 5” and 7” monitors the industry currently offers, all displayed side by side and synced via a video router to enable like for like comparison. Visitors can plug-in any camera or video feed and the same image will be displayed across all 20x monitors at the same time. This is a unique way to test a variety of monitors to really see which best fits the customer’s needs.

The Creative Experience is also designed to be used as an event space, ideal for product and skillset training by manufacturers and industry professionals, as well as networking, seminars and screenings. There are already a number of events taking place at the facility; for more information about these, to visit the Creative Experience or to speak to one of the CVP team about booking your event here, please visit CVP Events.

27 Newman Street
Fitzrovia, London
W1T 1AR
Monday to Friday 9am till 5.30pm
Tel: 0208 380 7400

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

The Premiere of Uncowed at Corrie village hall in 4K thanks to JVC

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Finally this weekend we will get to see the one hour comedy called Uncowed filmed during July 2018. I had been asked to produce a behind the scenes documentary for Chris and his production team.

As you would expect on a picturesque island like Arran the local village hall was to be the venue for the red carpet night.

A big thanks to JVC for lending the production a 4K video projector to show the film on called a DLA-RS540. This is a high performance, fully-customisable home theatre projector that produces exquisite quality images with class leading 130,000:1 native contrast ratio. This THX 3D and ISF certified projector accepts native 4K 60P (4:4:4) material through full speed 18Gbps HDMI/HDCP 2.2 compatible inputs and displays it with stunning 4K e-shift 5 3840 x 2160 precision.

The screen reproduction in 4K was fantastic thanks to JVC and better still the one hour comedy went down a storm with the audience.

No red carpet evening is complete without the guests arriving and being interviewed, Lewis the young star of Uncowed being interviewed by Frank.

The 76 member audience were enthralled with the film.

Cast and crew picture. Right to left, Jan, Chris, Philip, Frank, Graeme and Richard all of us worked for Chris and Jan 30 years ago.

And now for my contribution to the evening the documentary of Uncowed…

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

New GH5, GH5S and G9 firmware now available

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Panasonic issued new firmware updates for its popular GH5, GH5s and G9 cameras today. The updates are supposed to fix some minor issues in the current firmware and improve the autofocus performance on all three cameras, which have been criticized for their AF performance being somewhat behind on the competition. Panasonic has been eagerly pushing firmware updates to the cameras since their release, this marking the sixth version of the GH5’s firmware.

Updates to the GH5 (firmware 2.4)

  • Improvement of tracking performance and minimizing of backfocusing in continuous AF mode with 225 AF points
  • Fix of a One-Push-AE bug in Creative M mode, when SS/Gain-Operation is set to Angle/ISO
  • Fix of bug that sometimes caused timecode to be reset upon battery change
  • Fix of a bug that caused showing all footage, instead of just the intended frame in 6k/4k Photo mode

Updates to the GH5S (firmware 1.2):

  • Improvement of tracking performance and minimizing of backfocusing in continuous AF mode with 225 AF points
  • Fix of a bug that caused the camera to not react appropriately to brightness changes under fluorescent light
  • Fix of a One-Push-AE bug in Creative M mode, when SS/Gain-Operation is set to Angle/ISO
  • Improvement of image quality when using V-Log for VFR recording in Creative Mode
  • Improvement of image quality when using the Intelligent Dynamic Range Controlfeature

Updates to the G9 (firmware 1.2):

  • Improvement of tracking performance and minimizing of backfocusing in continuous AF mode with 225 AF points
  • Fix of a bug that caused the camera to not react appropriately to brightness changes under fluorescent light

GH5 firmware 2.4

GH5S firmware 1.2

G9 firmware 1.2

 

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

A Warning about Kickstarter campaign’s

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I was taken in by the Lilly Kickstarter campaign where you got a drone for about £300 and to this day nothing ever appeared. Luckily I got a heads up from the campaign that things were badly delayed and would I like a refund. I got my refund but was very lucky and this gave me an insight not to enter these campaigns ever again.

In August Net SE, the company behind Meyer Optik Görlitz, Emil Busch, C.P. Goerz, Ihagee, Oprema Jena, and A. Schacht products, was removed from the German stock exchange and subsequently filed for insolvency.

Now, the fears of Kickstarter backers of the Meyer Optik Görlitz products who have not received their lenses yet have turned into a reality: The reward will not arrive and you won’t get your money back either. Net SE is completely dead. This was first reported by German photo publication Photoscala after an official notice was published, asking to direct claims to a law firm.

Insolvency proceedings have been opened which means all hopes for backers to receive rewards or their money back have evaporated. Net SE’s lack of assets means nothing can be expected from the company and Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms reject all responsibility in such cases.

This isn’t the first crowdfunding project ending up in a mess but given we are dealing with several campaigns here the number of affected photographers is likely higher than usual. It’s a reminder that backing a crowdfunding project isn’t the same thing as pre-ordering and there’s always some risk of losing your money.

My thanks to DPREVIEW for this.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Drone simulated hitting an aircraft wing at 238

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University of Dayton Research Institute impact tests prove large aircraft won’t always win in collision with small drones.

When a large military helicopter collided midair with a small quadcopter last year, the helicopter sustained only minor damage and returned safely home; the drone was destroyed. But tests performed at the University of Dayton Research Institute show that bigger may not always be better in contests between manned aircraft and even small UAVs.

In a test designed to mimic a midair collision at 238 miles per hour, researchers in UDRI’s Impact Physics group launched a 2.1-pound DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter at the wing of a Mooney M20 aircraft. The drone did not shatter on impact, but tore open the leading edge of the wing as it bore into the structure, damaging its main spar. “While the quadcopter broke apart, its energy and mass hung together to create significant damage to the wing,” said Kevin Poormon, group leader for impact physics at UDRI.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

GoPro Hero 7 Black “The honest opinion…MAJOR PROBLEMS”

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My first impressions of the Hero 7 are as follows…

To get the firmware into the Hero 7 you firstly need to charge the battery in the camera, not something I recommend. I never charge any batteries in any cameras and the Hero 7 is no exception, it gets physically hot as does the battery so I opted for GoPro’s own dual charger as it comes with a spare battery.

Talking of batteries I find them surprisingly big for the intended slot, if that plastic tab breaks you will not be able to remove the battery, this was a shocking find as the batteries for the Hero 4 were fine, the tolerances are far too tight.

My firmware update would not apply for the first hour of having the 7, causing me a lot of anguish then I remembered you can apply the software manually via the micro SD card.

I tried this after resetting the camera back to default once again but still no joy.

Finally via my iPhone Ten I got the firmware 01.51 to go into the Go Pro but not a smooth as process as I was expecting.

To setup the Go Pro with the iPhone on the other hand was a lot less clunky than I experienced in the past with my Go Pro 4.

Strangely for all the extra processing power you still get a blank screen on the iPhone when you hit the record button something that really annoyed me in the past, the only consolation is that you now get a live feed on the small screen that comes with the Hero 7, possibly something to do with Protune being switched on.

The Hero 7 keeps freezing so I am sending it back, meanwhile I will show you a video from a chap in the states who has had all the same problems as me.

Sadly the footage out of the Hero 7 Black at 4K 50p were the best I have seen from any GoPro but the software bugs outweigh the joy of using it.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Scrolling Slideshow from $39 introductory offer (Till October 12th)

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There’s always a question on blogs, Facebook or Twitter on how to make a series of stills look good. This new FCPX set of plugins from Idustrial Revolution enables the building of a stylish scrolling display of stills or video.

Ken Burns style moves on images look good, but what about making a slideshow look even better. Idustrial Revolution has just released XEffects Scrolling Slideshow, a pack of effects, titles and transitions that combine to make a stylish self animating display.

The plugins, normally priced at $49 are on sale at $39 until October 12th 2018.

Rather than this design being offered as a Motion project, the different elements have been broken down into FCPX effects, titles and transitions.

The plugins have been designed so that the moves for the images and text match. Positive numbers in the inspector controls for up, negative for down.

This means that everything is ‘live’ on the timeline so it can all be tweaked instantly for timing or that final change to get the look right.

It also means that clumsy Drop Zones are avoided, so it is easier to incorporate footage and that retains its audio as well.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

BT or Virgin…Who do you choose for your fast fibre broadband ?

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Just passing on my findings after giving up BT Superfast Fibre 2 and was horrified to discover all is not so rosey at Virgin Media.

Virgin Fibre…Great download speed of 200 Mbps but a poor upload of 12 Mbps, its only when you get the 350Mbps fast fibre that you get 20Mbps upload speed, but not many places can get 350 Mbps at the moment.

When I was with BT Superfast fibre my download speeds were 67 Mbps and upload speeds of 18.7 Mbps.

I contacted Virgin to ask why my upload speed was capped at 12 Mbps and was told I should have 20 Mbps, not true.

Looking at their web site its 12 Mbps for the 200 Mbps package.

You get the advert on the telly that its fibre to your front door, bollocks, its fibre to the box at the end of your street called the cabinet, followed by a bog standard RG59 cable with a copper core the front of your house and round your property into the living room.

The sales team tell you that BT is only copper so it can’t reach fast speeds of 200 Mbps which is true but its a major kick in the balls when you discover that BT without boasting about it is in fact faster at uploading without paying a hefty premium for it.

The facts…

BT has faster upload speeds 18.7 Mbps on Superfast Fibre 2 but on an 18 months contract.

Virgin has a faster download speeds of 200 Mbps with a 12 months contract.

Strangely Virgins most popular package is the 100 Mbps with an upload speed of 6 Mbps and I think Virgin should at least keep up with the competition and boost upload speeds to equal BT.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

New firmware for the GH5, GH5S and G9 (End of October 2018)

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Panasonic has announced that they will release a major firmware update for its GH5, GH5s and G9 Micro Four Thirds cameras. The release date of the firmware updates scheduled  for October 2018.

All three cameras will benefit from the first improvement which is about the AF performance. This is about the cameras tracking performance in continuous AF and it will be improved by optimising the tracking algorithm.

Improvement of AF performance: GH5S, GH5, G9

  1. There were cases where focus point was shifted to the background while tracking the subject in AFC mode. The new firmware minimises this problem.
  2. Tracking performance in continuous AF has been improved by optimising the tracking algorithm.
  3. The subject is tracked even if it moves actively, such as in sports scenes where the focus previously shifted to the background.
  4. There were cases where focus point was shifted to the background while tracking the subject in video recording. The new firmware minimises this problem.
  5. The accuracy of detecting the subject has been improved by optimising the focus area settings and tracking speed. The point of focus remains on the subject instead of shifting to the background.

Improvement of stability during HDMI output: GH5S

  1. Operating stability during VFR (Variable Frame Rate) recording through HDMI output has been improved.

Improvement of video recording performance: GH5S, GH5

  1. [One Push AE] failed to operate when [SS/Gain Operation] is set to [ANGLE/ISO] while shooting in Creative Video M mode. This bug has been fixed.
  2. The image quality when using [V-LogL] for VFR recording in Creative Video mode has been improved.
  3. The image quality when set to [i.Dynamic (Intelligent Dynamic Range Control)] has been improved.

Improvement of operation under specific lighting conditions (fluorescent lights, etc) GH5S, G9

  1. There were cases where the camera did not catch up to the brightness change smoothly under specific lighting conditions such as fluorescent lights. The new firmware minimises this problem.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

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