First footage with the Sony PXW-FS7

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Den Lennie “I never ever take it for granted when an opportunity to shoot a Launch video for a new camcorder presents itself.  It’s great to be the first hands on new technology and provides a chance to give feedback to the engineers directly.  I started shooting professionally in 1994 and so have been making my living in and around cameras for over 20 years.  Much has changed and continues to, but for me and my team, the camera remains at the core technology  that we use to tell stories with and so working with cutting edge technology is always fun.”


We made 3 films in total.  An HD film, a 4K film and  a BTS film.  We had 3 days of location scouting and camera testing followed by a 4 day shoot (2 days a piece for each the HD and 4k productions) and then 7 days of post in Tokyo.  So all in all a pretty tight turn around.

Here’s the BTS film which explains more about the camera.


Sony Professional: BTS with the PXW-FS7 and Den Lennie from Sony Professional on Vimeo.


Link to full story on Dens FStop web site

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

NEWS from IBC 2014..Sony PXW-FS7 £8,400 with 28-135 f4 lens

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Sony has today launched the PXW-FS7, the first 4K XDCAM camera to feature a Super35 CMOS sensor. Capable of shooting in 4K Quad Full HD  (QFHD) and super slow-motion Full HD, the latest member of the XDCAM family has been designed for documentary, music video, online content creators and corporate filmmakers looking for beautiful picture quality and an unrivalled choice of recording formats. The 11.6 million-pixel Super35 ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor within the PXW-FS7 delivers stunning sensitivity, shallow depth of field, a high signal-to-noise ratio and fantastic low light performance. The camera has the ability to record QFHDi with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling up to 600 Mbit/s, with support for a variety of recording formats including XAVC Intra, Long GOP, MPEG HD422 and Apple ProRes 422 available early 2015 by firmware update.


Key features of the PXW-FS7

Super35 ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor with 8.8 million-effective pixels. The PXW-FS7 is able to capture great image quality without needing significant lighting support. It has high-speed image readout characteristics, such as 240 fps while recording 2K RAW on an external recorder, responsive sensitivity (ISO 2000) and a high signal-to-noise ratio. The PXW-FS7 supports QFHD up to 60 fps at launch, with an upgrade to 4K 4,096 x 2,160 resolution due to be made available in early 2015.

Flexibility across recording codecs. The PXW-FS7 is compatible with Sony ́s new XAVC Intra and XAVC Long GOP formats, each supporting 10-bit 4.2:2 recording for Full HD recording. Recording in QFHD resolution, SlowMotion up to 180fps or even Full High Definition with 60/50 progressive frames is possible. By using the optional extension unit XDCA-FS7, the PXW-FS7 is capable of natively recording in Apple ProRes 422 codec, planned to be available in early 2015 by firmware update. In addition, thanks to the XDCA-FS7’s Raw interface, the PXW-FS7 is capable of 4K/2K Raw recording with Sony’s HXR-IFR5 and AXS-R5, or with a compatible third-party external recorder.


A vast range of creative choices. The PXW-FS7 features 2 XQD card slots that support simultaneous recording and relay recording. The camera includes a low-pass video filter, progressive pixel reading and advanced camera processing, enabling a broad span of creative treatments, and benefits such as high speed recording, high resolution, high sensitivity, less aliasing and less rolling shutter. To support FS7’s S&Q motion and internal 4Ki recording, a new XQD G series with ultra-high speed transfer up to 400MB/s (read) and 350MB/s (write) has been developed. The XQD card G series is designed specifically to further enhance the PXW-FS7 workflow. In parallel, the camera’s built-in ND filters offer exceptional shallow depth-of-field, allowing users to further expand their shooting styles without requiring external ND filter equipment. S-Gamut3/SLog3 & S-Gamut3.Cine/SLog3 are supported for flexibility of post-production options.

Easy mobility and choice of shooting style. Sony has also today introduced the VCT-FS7, a light-weight rods support, featuring 15mm rods and an adjustable shoulder pad. This enables the use of additional Matte boxes, the easy attachment of Follow Focus systems or of an external recorder. In addition to the on-shoulder operation, the PXW-FS7 can also be set-up on a tripod and as a handheld camera. The supplied handgrip provides easy access to relevant functions αMount System enables auto exposure and SteadyShot stabilization during shooting.


The PXW-FS7 uses the E-mount lens system and comes supplied with a new E-mount lens FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS (SELP28135G), which is the world’s first 35mm full-frame interchangeable power zoom lens i.. The new E-mount powered zoom lens features constant F4 value, independent rings for Iris, Zoom and Focus control and is dust and moisture resistant. The SELP28135G has steady shot stabilization, minimum focus breathing and is enabled with Sony’s new SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) to reduce zoom and focus noise while shooting. Furthermore, Sony’s optional LA-EA4 A-mount lens adaptor allows compatibility with a wide range of high-quality A-mount lenses, benefiting from the PXW- FS7’s auto-focus function for quick and convenient operation.


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

NEWS from IBC 2014…JVC GY-LS300 4K handheld camcorder

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GY-LS300 compact 4K camcorder

A prototype model of the new GY-LS300 compact handheld camcorder is being shown at IBC, featuring JVC’s exclusive Super 35mm 13.6MP 4K CMOS image sensor, developed by JVC’s sister company, AltaSens, for 4K 24/25/30p recording. The camera uses Micro Four Thirds lenses, originally developed for DSLRs to deliver cinema-quality images in a compact camcorder, and also accepts a wide variety of stills and video lenses for filmmakers who have already invested in expensive lenses (converters available for PL-mount and other lenses). This first prototype has an advanced codec and onboard recording system, providing 4K imaging on standard SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 memory cards, and its dual codec system also delivers simultaneous recording and streaming for both HD/SD and HD/proxy files. The camera features the 4K CAM logo and marks the start of this new camera series from JVC.

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

IBC 2014

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Amsterdam RAI is the place to be from the 12th of September if you want to see all the new gear from Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Canon, BlackMagic to mention a few.



Panasonic will be showing off their new 4K VariCam as well as the new HC-X1000 which I am told comes from Panasonic consumer as well as the GH4.




Sony will have the new PXW-X500 broadcast camcorder and the PXW-X70 hand held 1″ camcorder as well as the A7s and the new FS7 4K camcorder more details later today.




JVC will be showing their new GY-HM850 camcorder with live streaming capabilities.

More news and details to follow from IBC 2014.



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

Ikegami HC-HD300 camera

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Ikegami has chosen IBC2014 as the venue for the introduction of the HC-HD300, a compact and aggressively-priced high-definition camera designed for a wide range of applications. These include satellite and cable television presentation studios, independent programme-making, training studios and religious television channels.

The HC-HD300 is equipped with a 1/3 inch bayonet lens mount and employs three 1/3-inch CMOS progressive-scan sensors, each with 2.2 million pixels, in RGB prism formation. It delivers high quality pictures in all commonly used HD video formats: 1920 x 1080/59.94i, 1920 x 1080/50i, 1280 x 720/59.94p, 1280 x 720/50p and 720 x 480/59.94i (NTSC), 720 x 576/50i (PAL).

Typical performance characteristics of the HC-HD300 in 1080/59.94i output mode are 1,000 television lines horizontal resolution, 58 dB signal-to-noise ratio and 2,000 lux sensitivity (89.9 per cent white reflection) at F10 aperture. Equivalent aperture in 1080/50i mode for this light level is F11.

Camera gain be attenuated from mid level to -3 or -6 dB, or increased by +3, +6, +9, +12 or + 18 dB. Integral neutral density filters (100 per cent, 25 per cent, 6.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent) can be switched in as required, plus operator-selectable 3,200, 4,300, 6,300 and 8,000 kelvin electronic colour conversion. An electric shutter can be set to 1/100, 1/120, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1,000 or 1/2,000 second speed.

The HC-HD300 weighs 4.5 kg including FA-300 fibre adapter and measures 139 x 270 x 337 mm (width x depth x height). Operating voltage range is 11 to 16 volts and power consumption (excluding FA-300) is 19 watts. The camera is designed for use within an ambient temperature range of -20 to +45 Celsius and 30 per cent to 90 per cent non-condensing operating humidity.

Available options include the newly-developed FA-300 fibre adaptor and BSF-300 base station. The HC-HD300’s output cable is fitted with a Neutrik opticalCon Duo connector to provide efficient protection against dust. Up to 250 metres of cable can be connected direct to the camera, extendable to 10 kilometres by using external power.

Supporting features of the HC-HD300 include the focus assist and lens aberration correction functions employed in Ikegami’s established UnicamHD range of cameras.

The Ikegami HC-HD300 will be deliverable from December 2014.

Details of the full Ikegami range of broadcast cameras can be seen at

Ikegami’s Broadcast and Professional Video Division will exhibit on stand 11.A31 at IBC2014, RAI Amsterdam, September 12-16. Company representatives will include Masanori Kondo (President, Ikegami Europe), Peter Grimm (General Manager, Broadcast Business Development) and Michael Lätzsch (Broadcast and Professional Video Division Manager).


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

Five figure sum for using copyright music online !

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Copyright infringement can be a costly exercise and for one young American wedding videographer it nearly cost him his business…

Ron Dawson of Dare Dreamer Magazine…

“One of the first questions a “new born” wedding videographer will undoubtedly ask is “I have this bride who wants to use [insert popular music artist of the day] for her wedding video. Can I use it if she gives it to me?” Or, “Can I use it if I buy it on iTunes?” Or some version thereof. Just for the record. The answer is unequivocally “NO!”

Well. Maybe I’m being a tad melodramatic. But, I am not embellishing when I tell you that on one Facebook group, there are hundreds and hundreds of posts about this topic.


Hi Joe. Was this super viral video the straw that broke the camel’s back?

I can’t discuss the details of the suit, but it is real. I did have a video that went viral, we had used a very popular song on it, someone saw it and brought it to the attention of the labels legal team and from there they came after us. Getting that letter in my inbox and as a fax was super scary. You always here “they’ll just send you a cease and desist letter and you take it down” and I always thought that would be true. But the letter that came through and they wanted a lot of money for damages, it the tune of $150,000 for one song. If that didn’t scare you straight I don’t know what would. I spent the next month or so going back in forth with the label to reach a settlement, it was a huge stress on my business and my life and I would never wish this on anyone else. I can’t say what we settle for but it looked like this $XX,XXX , which is a LOT of money for a small business.

What are the top 5 tips or things you’ve learned, that you can teach those wedding videographers out there when it comes to using legally licensed music?

1 – Read the fine print for the sites you are buying music from, each is very different and you want to make sure you are not violating their restrictions. Because if you do you are right back where you started, using music illegally.  Some have only one year licenses and others 5 year licenses. Always read the fine print.

2 – Educate your clients about the laws of music copyright.

3 – If you are using multiple music licensing sites make sure to check them all, they may have the same song and one could be cheaper than the other.

4 – Don’t just settle for the popular songs on the licensing sites, dive deeper into it and find the more obscure songs that will have the best impact on your audience.

5 – Make suggestions to the music licensing sites, they would love the help in finding music that you love to use and chances are they can get the songs for you! They can’t read your mind, help them get better music for all of us.

Read the full story at Dare


On the back of this I decided to phone PRS, PPL and MCPS to get a handle on this problem…

PRS told me that a wedding is a personal event and so is the music played on the day, the key information here is that no one pays to watch a wedding but if you use copyright music i.e. over the photographers section it only becomes a problem if it is posted online.

That sent out some very strange signals to me but remember there are two further companies involved in this copyright music mess.

A children’s dance show hits a different set of criteria because the parents pay to watch the show you will need to buy a licence from MCPS.


If you want to record music being played at a wedding you must have one of these licenses…A PPL licence can be purchased from the Institute of Videography (IOV)

IOV “This licence is issued on behalf of the Record Company and the Performers, and enables you to record their music in actuality (such as that being played by a DJ at a wedding reception) and to dub music on to the wedding video in post production.  The licences are in the form of holographic stickers which must be applied to all DVD copies of the video.”

For a five DVD wedding you are looking at £20.50

For a 50 DVD dance show you are looking at £62 per show !


IOV “This licence is issued on behalf of the Composers and Publishers, and enables you to record and dub their works (music score and lyrics). Each event or production will require a separate licence, and the cost is governed by the number of copies being made of the original – and the duration of music included.”

For a five DVD wedding you are looking at £15.32 up to 25m of music used per production.

For a 50 DVD dance show you are looking at £85.79 for a two hour show.

So there you have it a 2014 up to the minute look at keeping your video production company legal especially if you produce live events like weddings, dance and stage shows. My advice is to stick to non copyright music at all times unless you have a good reason or a client who is willing to pay big bucks for copyright music, especially on corporate videos and anything online.

The Institute of Videography give special pricing for PPL and MCPS licenses;n=918


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

The NEW Panasonic HC-X1000 4K camcorder

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Panasonic’s HC-X1000 4K DCI/Ultra HD/Full HD Camcorder can help ease your transition, or allow you to jump right into 4K. The camera shoots and records cinema 4K at a true 24p, and UHD at broadcast compatible frame rates, so it fits smoothly into your existing broadcast workflow. The HC-X1000 features a 1/2.3″ MOS sensor that is always shooting at 4K resolution, and uses its two built-in Venus processing engines to scale the 4K image for Full HD delivery.

The built-in 20x Leica Dicomar lens features four lens groups, and electronically linked geared iris rings for manual control. The camera supports two optical image stabilization modes, one for 4K, and a different mode when shooting in HD, Two viewfinders provide you a choice when operating the camera with either a traditional tilt up color EVF, or a pull out LCD high resolution touch screen. The LCD touchscreen is positioned above the lens for a more natural viewing experience when shooting handheld.

The camera records in .mp4, .mov, or AVCHD codecs, and features dual SD media card slots. Please note that Panasonic recommends using SDXC cards rated as UHS-1 U3 for recording at the highest bit rates. The camera incorporates two SD card slots, allowing you to use relay recording, simultaneous recording and when recording HD you can use Panasonic’s background recording mode.

In 4K recording mode the camera utilizes Power O.I.S., checking and compensating for handshake up to four thousand times a second. In HD mode the camera employs 5-axis hybrid O.I.S. compensating for side-to-side, up-down, forward-back handheld shake.
The HC-X1000 features electronically linked zoom, focus, and iris rings on the lens. The rings are textured for better tactile feel, and the movement and control of the rings simulate the feel of mechanically linked lenses.
The camera features built-in selectable physical filters, a clear, 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64th ND for exposure control when shooting outdoors.
The camera records in either MP4, MOV or AVCHD Progressive. It will only record in 4K/UHD using the mp4 codec, however, all codecs support recording in full HD. MP4 & MOV recording support a 200 Mb/s all intra frame codec, which requires less computing power to playback.
A built-in IR emitter and IR recording mode allow you to shoot at 4K, and HD, in complete darkness without any visible light, although your images will have that familiar greenish IR look to them.
An illuminated ring lets your subject know when you are recording by changing from blue to red. Although this is pleasant in appearance, this feature can be disabled in the camera’s menu.
Camera Assist Functions:

  • Histogram: Displays the image as a brightness graph.
  • Zebra: indicates areas of overexposure by overlaying a striped pattern on the overexposed portion of the image.
  • The built-in electronic color bars allow you to calibrate your monitors, and can be recorded for playback.
  • You can activate a level indicator overlay, which can be useful to check the camera is level when shooting handheld or with a stabilizer.
  • Intelligent Auto: Two modes, iA and iA Plus allow the camera to select the appropriate scene mode for the scene you are shooting. In iA Plus mode you can adjust the brightness and color, while allowing the camera to control the other settings.
The camera incorporates a built in microphone, and two 3-pin XLR audio inputs for line or mic level input. Manual adjustments are via dials set into the side of the camera so you can adjust the levels during the shot without having to pull up a menu function. The dials are inset, making it less likely to accidentally change the settings.
Control and monitor the HC-X1000 in real time from a distance by using the Panasonic Image App on a smartphone or tablet device. With the camera’s NFC capabilities you can easily connect to your NFC enabled smartphone or tablet. If your smartphone or tablet is not NFC enabled, you can use QR codes to make the connection.
The 4K images that are taken by the HC-X1000 are compatible with a wide variety of nonlinear editing software, such as Apple Final Cut Pro X, that are available separately. Plus, the included HD-Writer XE2.0 software also supports the 4K video files for editing and file management, and is available for download.

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

RUMOUR… A new 4K Sony camera has been spotted

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Picture from

Eh…seemingly this strange looking camera is the replacement for the Sony FS700.

Nevertheless, the FS700 was a ground-breaking camera with its high-speed HD capabilities (240 FPS at HD 1920 x 1080). And it has steadily gained a great reputation for its images – easily rivaling much more expensive cameras in the right conditions. Perhaps the biggest weakness was its codec, which was AVCHD.

Sony Alpha Rumours says that it will have the “same sensor size” as the F55. That wouldn’t be surprising. What wouldbe surprising is if it were exactly the same sensor as the F55, which would mean that it would have a global shutter. We don’t think this is likely.

According to the Chinese Site the new FS700 will have Sony Raw and S-log 3. It will also support 180 fps continuous. What we don’t know is at what resolution.

In fact, what we don’t know is anything at all, with certainty. But we strongly believe that this is real.

Nor do we know when it will be launched, but given the proximity of IBC (starting next week in Amsterdam), we wouldn’t be surprised if it were officially revealed then.


One of my readers compared the back end to looking like an ARRI mag which I had not seen even though I had recently played with a 16mm Eclair.

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