How Apple FCPX have destroyed the meaning of the word Archive

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

If you are running with FCPX you will know all too well every time they update from one version to another it tells you that “If you update this library it will no longer work with any previous version of FCPX”.

I think this is appalling as I recently updated my studio iMac to OS 10.14.6 and FCPX to 10.4.7 avoiding installing OS Catalina.

I knew by doing this that all my libraries would need updated though to this date I do not understand why we need to go through this process time and again. Its making FCPX very archive unfriendly.

My second iMac running FCPX 10.4.6 was also updated not realising the problems it would cause due to Apple falling out with NVIDIA. My NVIDIA Cuda drivers no longer work with the new FCPX and I had to restore it back to 10.4.6

To compound my problems I have a hard drive that will no longer work with 10.4.6 that my son uses so he is forced to now use 10.4.7 on my own setup.

I did back up his FCPX hard drive to a second 8TB “G” RAID drive but that has gone faulty leaving me with no second working system on FCPX 10.4.6

This is the second and last G RAID Thunderbolt drive to fail on me this year and I will never buy any more G RAID drives as they are appalling.

As things stand I have backed up my sons FCPX library to another 16TB Lacie drive and works fine on my system.

I have been using FCPX on my 27″ iMacs for about 3-4 years with no great problems. One uses a Radeon graphics card while the older one uses the NVIDIA card. The main problems with iMacs are virtually no upgrade ability for swapping graphics cards as they are almost impossible to get into without breaking the front magnetic glass case.

Apple iMacs are great until you need to update anything like the lack of memory in the Macintosh HD drive or graphics card. Memory can usually be accessed via a small port on the back of them.

This obsession of Apple making everything fit nicely in a smooth aluminium non upgradible box with a “choose before you buy attitude” ie. Choose your HD and graphics card in advance is becoming a joke.

The best laugh is the SD card slot on the back of the iMac who’s bright idea was this, certainly not someone who uses the iMac for serious video or photographic work.

“Why should you need to update all your library’s every time you update your software”. One reader tells me I am on the wrong platform as the PC is far easier and far more upgradable. Yes I will give him marks for upgradable but easier ?

Sadly I do think Apple has lost its way since the early days of Final Cut Studio, a platform made for professionals and worked flawlessly.

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

Taking the CAA Drone test to avoid a £1000 fine

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Today I became the proud owner of my Drone Operator ID by passing my online test via the CAA web site.

Some people have found it hard to find the site but it’s on the CAA landing page under the word Drones.

Once you press on the Drones button you are directed to this page and its simple from here on in.

The test…I was very apprehensive at doing the test as me and exams don’t mix. The pass mark is 16 out of 20 and I got 16. You can sit the test as many times as you like but I prefer to be honest and sat it once. Its not hard as its multiple choice and a lot of common sense. You only need to know to basics of drone usage which most drone pilots even rookies like me get to know. There is nothing mega taxing in the 20 questions, you just have to pick the correct 20 answers.

I am a member of the FPV UK and was told by another drone pilot that you do not need to do the CAA test if you are a FPV member.

FPV UK “Our members are exempt until the end of January 2020”

“Before then we will offer our members a simple way to register through us.  This is entirely optional.  If you don’t want to register then simply don’t use this new facility (and don’t pay us £9).
In fact if you tried to register through us and you are already registered directly with the CAA it would be rejected and your money would be returned.”

My take on this is that FPV members have a couple of months extra to play with rather than the deadline of the end of November 2019 via the CAA.

After November 2019 drone users face fines of up to £1,000 if the fly their device without passing an online test or registering as an operator.

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

DJI miss the point with the new Mavic Mini

Categories: Miscellaneous 6 Comments

Sadly the new Mavic Mini is a waste of time for anyone looking to use it for photography or video use. Having deliberately downgraded many features of this drone, a trick played by the professional video industry for many years.

Giving a drone Auto White Balance only (AWB) is a complete disaster for photographers and anyone producing video. Only this week I flew my Mavic 2 in my local park to discover after a firmware update my drone was set to AWB.

Flying over yellow autumnal leaved trees drastically changes your white balance if set to AWB making your footage useless, so to give you a drone with AWB only is a disaster and very poor thinking by DJI.

With the Skydio 2 made in the USA about to enter the arena DJI should not be producing drones with a very poor feature set. Other commentators say they are “protecting” the Mavic line of drones…nonsense.

All they are doing is loosing a major percentage of serious drone users who would welcome a drone of this weight and size.

I would like to thank Nino Leitner from Cinema 5D for pointing out these poor features and here is his video and a link to his review https://www.cinema5d.com/dji-mavic-mini-review-good-pro-filmmaking/

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

Loupedeck CT £469

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Loupedeck CT is ready to go right out of the box with a vast set of integrations with your favorite software, letting you move between and work freely in Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom, Ableton Live and soon more – all from one sleek user interface.

The pros already love Final Cut Pro and Loupedeck+ makes editing videos with Final Cut even faster, smoother and more precise. Loupedeck+ is custom-designed to enhance the entire Final Cut Pro X editing experience, giving you quick access to all the tools and functions you need. Its intuitive user interface features controls, sliders and dials for color grading and fine-tuning your work. And you can edit in full-screen mode, which means you can focus all your attention on what really counts – nailing the perfect edit. Loupedeck+ is also simple to set up and will quickly become a completely natural part of your editing workflow. Give it a spin and see for yourself. 

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

Panasonic S1 Upgrade Key £120 ONO

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

By activating LUMIX S1 with Upgrade Software Key DMW-SFU2, you can enjoy best-in-class 14+ stops V-Log with your LUMIX S1, as well as many other advanced video functions for use in a professional setting.

Original unopened box from Panasonic, this arrived after I sold my S1. Save a massive £60 off the price of the same box from Panasonic. Send an email to smallvideo@mac.com if you are interested.

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

A good reason to use the Panasonic S1H

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Very interesting Netflix have now approved the Panasonic S1H as a camera suitable as a main camera, so long as the footage is captured within a range of formats and settings.

4K or UHD with V-LOG 10bit 422 ALL INTRA 400Mbps, not many cameras have this ability in such a small body.

This is indeed great news for Panasonic and with a camera that only uses SDXC Memory Cards it’s a far cry from the usual crowd…ARRI’s Alexa LF, Canon C700, RED Weapon Dragon 8K and Sony F55 camera systems.

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

RODE NTG-5 new design $499

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The NTG5 is a short, ultra-lightweight shotgun microphone ideal for use in the most demanding recording applications. Featuring a revolutionary acoustic design with circular ports replacing the linear slots found in other shotgun mics, it offers unmatched transparency and a more natural, uncoloured sound. Combined with a tightly controlled frequency response, smooth off-axis response, and very low self-noise (just 10dBA), the NTG5 sounds spectacular in a wide variety of applications, particularly location recording and demanding filmmaking scenarios where superlative audio is the imperative. No excuses.

The NTG5 is a boom operator’s dream, weighing a mere 76g and measuring just over 20cm, making it ideal for use on long, demanding shoots. It also features RF-bias circuitry to ensure reliable performance in adverse environments, with excellent resistance to high humidity, severe cold, damp, and dust. The perfect location recording mic.

Key features:

  • Revolutionary acoustic design, delivering a natural, uncoloured sound.
  • Extremely lightweight (just 76g), and short in length (just 203mm)
  • Tailored frequency response and very low self-noise of just 10dBA
  • Highly directional supercardioid polar pattern and smooth off-axis response
  • RF-bias technology and conformal coating ensure superior performance in adverse environmental conditions
  • Comes in a complete location recording kit with WS10 windshield, PG2-R pistol grip and other accessories

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

Finally a Drone to compete with DJI at $999

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For a long time DJI have ruled the drone market but with increasing problems in the USA accepting electronics from China the USA are fighting back with this amazing drone.

American drone manufacturer, Skydio, has announced the release of the Skydio 2. A more compact, lightweight, autonomous drone with a superior camera, compared to its predecessor, the R1, it is going after the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Air markets.

The Skydio 2 retails at a competitive price point of $999. A 12MP camera, mounted on a 3-axis gimbal and built around Sony’s IMX577 1/2.3” CMOS sensor with Qualcomm’s RedDragon™ QSC605 technology, can deliver up to 4K/60p HDR video. Using 45 megapixels of visual sensing from six 200° color cameras, the drone can detect obstacles in every direction and avoid them. This is Skydio’s foundation for truly autonomous flight, an ‘Onboard AI’ that powers the ‘Skydio Autonomy Engine.’

The drone can reach a maximum autonomous speed of 36 mph and can remain in the air for 23 minutes with up to 3.5 km wireless range. To compare, the DJI Mavic 2 series can fly up to 45 mph remain air bound for up to 31 minutes. Nevertheless, Skydio is also selling the fact their latest release is 50% smaller, lighter, and quieter than the R1.

SENSOR TYPE Sony IMX577
1/2.3” 12.3MP CMOS SENSOR ACTIVE PIXELS 4056 (H) x 3040 (V) LENS APERTURE f/2.8 LENS FOCAL LENGTH 20mm (35mm format equivalent)

LENS DEPTH OF FIELD 1m – ∞SHUTTER SPEED electronic shutter 1 to 1/1920s ISO RANGE video 100-3200

Photo 100-3200 IMAGE SIGNAL PROCESSOR Qualcomm QCS605GPUAdreno™ 615CPU64-bit octa-core Kyro™ 300DSPHexagon™ 685, 2x HVX RESOLUTION and MODES

3840×2160 30 fps
3840×2160 60 fps
3840×2160 48 fps
3840×2160 24 fps
1920×1080 120 fps
1920×1080 60 fps
1920×1080 30 fps
BITRATE 100 Mbps
VIDEO FORMAT MPEG-4 (AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265)
STILL RESOLUTION 4056×3040 (12 MP)STILL FORMATS JPEG, DNG (RAW) STILL MODES Single, Interval DYNAMIC RANGE 13 stops
STORAGE Removable Micro SD Card
UHS Speed Class 3 / V30

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

Philip Bloom taking a first look at the new Sony FX9

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

The Sony FX9 seems a much improved camera over the FS7 especially the colour profile and the autofocus.

HDW “Its Sony’s colour profile that has put me off all their cameras and is why I no longer own any Sony camcorders nor photographic cameras.”

Sony has cracked the autofocus on the FX9 making it very usable especially for older camera persons with blurry eyesight.

I love the skin tones on the FX9 a lot more natural and this will make a great 2nd camera for Sony’s Venice.

Sony “The fast hybrid AF system encompasses phase-detection AF and contrast AF for a fast and smooth AF response capable of precise subject tracking. The AF settings are customisable in addition to being highly accurate to help you personalise the camera to your individual needs and projects. This is perfect when trying to establish your very own signature filmmaking style that can distinguish you from a pool of already highly skilled professionals. The FX9’s wide AF coverage features a maximum of 561 points split between 94% points in the horizontal direction and 96% in the vertical direction.”

For further information on the Sony FX9 why not go over to Philip’s blog post at http://philipbloom.net/blog/fx9/

SONY PXW-FX9 TEST SHOTS from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.

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

IBC 2019 Part 2

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Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR is an ideal upgrade for cameras, as it’s super bright 2500nit display is bigger than the tiny displays found on consumer cameras, plus you’re also adding professional focus assist features and better quality file formats. The innovative touchscreen LCD user interface provides incredible control. On screen, there are dedicated buttons for play, stop and record, plus a mini timeline for scrolling through your recordings. You can even image swipe to jog! The LCD includes a heads up display of timecode, video standard, media status as well as audio meters. Scopes can be enabled via the touch screen as well as focus and exposure assist. There’s also an extensive range of settings all controlled from the large LCD. Plus you can load and save 3D LUTs! Price £815

Sony UWP-D26/K33 (UWPD26/K33) UWP-D26 ENG UHF Wireless Kit, includes URX-P40 Portable Receiver, UTX-B40 Belt Pack, UTX-P40 Plug On, Lavalier Microphone . The demand for high quality audio is increasing as high resolution content becomes prevalent in the video production industry. Today’s content creators are faced with the challenge of capturing high-quality audio quickly, reliably and with limited resources. Offering superb sound quality with digital processing, reliable RF transmission, true double tuner diversity reception and friendly features, the UWP-D series is an ideal partner for ENG (electronic news gathering) and EFP (electronic field production), as well as documentaries and weddings. The UWP-D26 package includes the UTX-B40 bodypack transmitter, UTX-P40 XLR plug-on transmitter and URX-P40 receiver, plus accessories. Digital Audio Processing for High Quality Sound
Advanced digital audio processing technology by Sony assures high quality sound with improved transient response performance. A new [optional] digital audio interface enables direct digital sound recording with many Sony professional camcorders and Alpha interchangeable lens cameras via the SMAD-P5 Multi Interface MI shoe adaptor. Price £764

ARRI Orbiter Ultra-Bright, Tunable and Directional LED Fixture Light. Please Note: Versions may become available
Orbiter is an ultra-bright, tunable and directional LED fixture from ARRI. All systems in Orbiter are completely new and designed with versatility in mind. Orbiter’s new six-colour light engine delivers a wide-colour gamut and outstanding colour rendition across all colour temperatures along with industry-leading, smooth dimming 100% to 0%. With its changeable optics, Orbiter can transform into many different types of lampheads including projection (profile), open face, soft light, and other future possibilities. Orbiter’s state-of-the-art technology and versatile design makes it an optimal lamphead for today and for the future endless possibilities for updates, configurations and enhancements. 
A Wide Variety of Changeable Optics
Changeable optics is the core innovation in Orbiter. With a wide variety of optics to choose from, Orbiter transform into the perfect light for your application without sacrificing beam, outputm or colour quality. Price TBA

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

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