NEW updated Canon XF plugin v2.1

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Good news for me is that this version finally gives me Canon ingest for my iMac, being able to bring in my footage from the C300 and XF305 is fantastic. The new FW is to compliment the new settings on the XF cameras which can now produce 1440 x 1080 at 35Mbps.

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

Serious problem with FCPX v 10.0.5

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While exploring a second camera to use with the Canon C300 I came across this potentially serious problem with FCPX, I could not understand why the Panasonic AC160 footage looked great via HDMI into the monitor then look soft and peelie wally in FCPX. You may not even be aware of the problem if you are only editing using FCPX. NOTE : The footage in both cases was brought in via card and not via the HD encoders.

This frame is from a Panasonic AC160 shot at 720 50p and look how different the same footage is being handled by FCPX…the picture is far softer and the gamma has been lifted (NOTE : Both sequences were set to 720 50p 422 10bit). I need to do some more digging but it seems the Matrox MX02 might be partly to blame, saying that these pictures were taken off the timeline so my take on this is pre Matrox processing which is even more serious. Note : FCP-7 output to monitor via the AJA io HD and FCPX is with a Matrox MX02 Max.

The good thing for me is that no clients footage has been edited on FCPX and I will remain editing with FCP-7 till Apple resolve this problem.

Two matching cameras :

Here are my initial findings with the Canon C300 and a Panasonic AC160-A, the “A” is the newer version which films in 1080 50p and fixes a focusing problem but FCP-7 does not handle 1080 50p footage so I had to see how the Panasonic handles 720 50p. As you can see the AC160 is almost a perfect colour match for the C300 in fact its far better matched than Canon’s own XF100 !

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

Small Video Sport v Scottish Television “You decide”

Categories: Miscellaneous 5 Comments

Our local independent television station “STV” are producing daily Euro 2012 inserts for their internet feed, when you look at their premises at the Clydeside in Glasgow, surely they must be producing some fancy programming, think again.

Their title sequence is nothing to write home about when you consider they are using a full time graphic artist to produce this and our graphics produced in Motion 5 is far better and more punchy.

This is the sum of STVs creativity these days everything is filmed out the back of the building just to prove it if proof were needed I was involved with this insert with Lorraine Kelly back in 2009…same old background inside STV.

Our chroma key produced with FCP-10 is also shot on a Canon C300 at 720 50p and output on HD…STV can’t produce HD material in fact they are still using DVC-PRO…how sad. STV do use 3 cameras on this… 2 mid shots and a wide shot but the football strips and flags hung all over the place looks tacky and very distracting.

The final comparison says it all, this is the same person being interviewed using Skype, I made Andrew stand in a position that we could see him, STV could not be bothered and it shows, we made a VR video wall feature, STV….? Skype is very iffy at the best of times, Andrew Gibney has a decent setup its all about lighting, the better someone is lit the better your Skype interview will look. Before you ask our Euro 2012 progs are filmed in about 30 minutes and edited the same evening for a next day lunchtime deadline the biggest bottleneck is uploading HD footage to Vimeo (2 hours for a 10m program 720p)

STV need to have a hard look at themselves and decide whether they are going to enter the 21st century by going HD and bring back some enthusiasm and creativity. It’s shocking that two of us at Small Video Sport can produce a far better product with a studio the size of a broom cupboard on HD and ZERO budget.

Scott who runs TheFootyBlog.Net never intended to compete with STV as his passion is football so it was the final straw when this was presented to me with STV Skyping the same person, Andrew Gibney, as we did last week.

The difference is that I am passionate about my job even when I am not being paid for filming and editing it has to be spot on. I used to freelance for STV and it was a sad place to work as everyone feared for their jobs and people took golden handshakes by the dozen to get out the place its no longer the thriving wonderful production station it once was and it’s a sad day when two of us can “out produce” a once revered giant in Scottish Television.

As they say in all good news programs “And Finally” I am proud of my son Scott for trying to make his blog different by using video inserts and coming up with this Euro 2012 format, the internet is a wonderful window on the world.

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

Exposure Room “No More”

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With Vimeo and You Tube gaining popularity it was inevitable there would be casualties and Exposure Room was one of them. I tried to be loyal to XR and it did have features that Vimeo did not have but it soon became apparent that without funding via the users it was heading downhill.

From all accounts XR has been down for a while and is a lesson to me to check all my video material regularly as I soon discovered that over half my reviews were not playing.

The thing that annoys me is the lack of contact from XR…a simple email to tell the membership that they were pulling the plug would have been nice if not professional but looking back it was doomed to failure with severe lack of funding.

Vimeo had the right idea making you pay for more professional features and thank God I had most of my reviews on Vimeo so it was easy to re-embed them this afternoon.

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

SONY PMW-100 Paper Review “Is it up to the mark” UPDATED

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UPDATE : Due to a set of circumstances that I cannot divulge the video review has been postponed meantime. Note. It has nothing to do with Sony or anything sinister that I have found about the PMW-100.


This is Sony’s fightback against Canon with their 50Mbps camcorder the PMW-100, I was hoping to use it in full 4:2:2 quality but you only get this if you use an SxS card or XQD cards in the Sony adapter.

For demonstration purposes I have two 8 Gig SxS cards but at 15 minutes max per card you don’t get a lot of footage at 50Mbps.

If Sony are to compete with the Canon XF305 they need to re think this mentality of using expensive SxS cards for 50Mbps recording, the Canon uses relatively inexpensive CF cards.

Will broadcasters take to the PMW-100…they might if they have a stock of SxS cards as used on PMW-350 and 500s but will they accept the picture quality ?

This camera uses a chip which is half way between the size of a 1/3″ and a 1/2″ chip, I do have to ask the question why ?

The EX1r/EX3 uses a very successful three 1/2″ Exmor CMOS chipset giving it very good low light capabilities so why reduce the size of the chip and not only that make it a single chip when you are chasing broadcast work ?

This camera is aimed at video journalists or VJs for short so will it step up to the mark.

The SxS cards at £550 are just far too dear for archiving, 50Mbs or not the XQD seems a far better way to go with the PMW-100, still dear when you compare it to 32G CF cards but at half the price of SxS it makes a lot of sense to buy into the XQD with additional Sony adapter.

Many of you are put off by the single chip used in the PMW-100 and my limited time with the camera tells me that this is not the only corner being cut by Sony, the exposure wheel is very MC-50 and using the plastic lens cap dangling from the camera handle is very poor when you consider Sony have a fine automatic lens hood design as seen on the NX70, the viewfinder is typically far to small to be of any use.

Pictures even at 50Mbs are no better than I have seen with the NX70 which was very surprising but remember the NX70 produces a mean 1080 50p picture which is not replicated in the PMW-100.

It was a tad better in low light than I was expecting but still no where near as good as an EX3 or EX1r, though it will produce a slightly better low light picture than the NX70.

At just over £3200 you get what you pay for, this is not an EX-3 replacement, it’s a cheap HD broadcast capable news camera at the lower end of the spectrum, don’t expect this to match your PMW-350/500, the single chip which on paper 1/2.9 inch makes you think it’s 1/2 inch but its only a gnats crotchet bigger than 1/3 inch !

CONCLUSION : I am not too sure where Sony was going with this camcorder if their remit was to plunder Canons XF305 market its no where near the mark, just making a camcorder 50Mbps is no recipe for success, this camera has been made to a budget and sadly it looks and feels like it.

If Sony are looking to hit the VJ market then looking at what they already use I would say they stand a good chance, VJs want a simple to use camera with no frills the PMW-100 certainly ticks all those boxes.

If on the other hand Sony had upgraded the EX1r to 50Mbps it would have made far more sense and revitalised a very good camcorder that could do with that extra 15 Mbps.

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

My thoughts on FCP-10

Categories: Miscellaneous 9 Comments

I have spent a fair amount of time with FCP-10 this week and although its good it’s also buggy, let me explain.

Over the last week I have taken the opportunity to use FCP-10 to edit five 10min programs for my sons blog producing a different side to the Euro 2012 football tournament.

Never a better challenge than to produce programs to a schedule which happened to be once a night over the last 5 days, then we also got a second dog on Sunday just to add to the pressure.

Final Cut Pro 10 works great apart from the annoying feature of having to attach itself to the footage you are layering on top of each other, this might just be the magnetic timeline feature.

There is a definite bug where after a period of time the preview or clip footage will not lift over to the timeline and you have to quit FCP-10 to fix it, this is very akin to the annoying memory leakage feature seen with FCP-7 and this was after installing the latest update last evening V 10.0.5.

This brings me to long haul projects, so far I have only tinkered with FCP-10 editing 10 minute sequences at a time but I have a major edit coming up with over 20 hours of footage and a timeline of about 2 hours, part one and two being 1 hour each.

Now it was announced at WWDC 2012 that we are getting a significant upgrade to both Aperture and FCP-10 this year so hopefully this will finally de-bug a good bit of software that can only get better.

In a pro environment we still need the ability to ingest live footage from various digital and analogue sources, this is not possible yet with FCP-10 but I am hoping the next big upgrade will bring back log and capture.

As an example Apples very own iPad has the ability to output HDMI footage into a TV and during the Euro 2012 edit we have the need to review certain APPs from the iPad so we need a way of getting the live pictures into FCP-10. I have had to forgo live monitoring to install FW 5.5 into the MX02 to give me VETURA a Matrox application that works very well to bring in live footage including the iPad.

CONCLUSION : To date my experience with FCP-10 started off very badly and has become very positive over the last week, the program was less than useless till v 10.0.4 arrived and v 10.0.5 has certainly made my iMac version a lot more responsive. So far although I bought into Premiere Pro CS6, with lack of 3rd party support compared to FCP-10 and a learning curve I am now glad to have waited for FCP to mature though Mr Apple needs to get updated Thunderbolt enabled, hi-end graphic card MacPros ASAP…PLEASE !

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

Just when you thought you were good along comes someone better

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

With the imminent arrival of the Sony FS700 and its 240fps super slow motion feature just sit back and see how the true professionals produce the real sexy slow motion footage.

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

Apple has disappointed the pro world once again !

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How many times can one company upset its core professional community by so called “updating” a rather tired design.

Apple had their WWDC yearly outing yesterday and announced “retina” screen MacBook Pros and MacBook Air with no mention of the MacPro which the pro video/graphics community were hoping for.

Thunderbolt was to be the big inclusion with a hopefully new radical design but true to recent form Apple did a slight update to the innards with no Thunderbolt or USB-3.

The chaps over at MacRumours have given us an insight for a new MacPro design coming 2013…

Mac Rumours…

“Yesterday, David Pogue of The New York Times vaguely stated in reference to Apple’s desktop Mac lines that an unnamed Apple executive had informed him that “new models and new designs are under way, probably for release in 2013.” That information was taken to include both Mac Pro and iMac models, but was not explicitly clear.

Soon after we posted the article, we received a report from a reader who had emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook about his disappointment in the lack of a significant Mac Pro update yesterday, with Cook responding to indicate that users can expect significant upgrades next year.

Our pro customers are really important to us…don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year.

Forbes now follows up with additional corroboration of both Mac Pro and iMac updates coming down the road, with the updates likely appearing next year. The information was provided directly by an Apple spokesperson.

An Apple spokesman just told me that new models and new designs of the Mac Pro, as well as the iMac desktop, are in the works and will likely be released in 2013. That confirms what New York Times columnist David Pogue said yesterday, citing an unnamed Apple executive, about Apple’s commitment to its desktop computers.

There was considerable disappointment from Apple’s professional workstation users yesterday when Apple introduced only a very minor update to the Mac Pro, with Apple even taking the unusual step of removing the “New” designation on the Mac Pro in its online store today.

In light of the disappointing update with processors that are still several years old, we have tweaked our Buyer’s Guide recommendations to suggest that users able to hold off until next year for a more significant update do so instead of purchasing the just-updated but still outdated Mac Pro models.

Update: Apple PR has reached out and clarified that only the Mac Pro is expected to be next updated in 2013. The company had no comment about the iMac, which perhaps means that the iMac could see updates earlier than next year. It has been 406 days since the iMac last received an update, significantly longer than the traditional iMac update interval.”

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

Canon EOS C300 Menu Simulator

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

A fantastic free resource from Canon is their new C300 Menu Simulator though I would prefer it as a downloadable iPad/iPhone APP to avoid having to rely on the internet.


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

Program 4 in HD

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You will need to press the VIMEO lettering in order to see it in HD

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

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