Day one filming “The Spirit of Edradour”

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Spirit v2

Day one filming “The Spirit Of Edradour” set in a lovely part of Perthshire.


The Sony FS7 with Metabones Canon EF to Sony E mount adapter using Canons 4K glass.


The day starts with 4 lovely children running towards “John Barleycorn” (below), Rory our Director is rehearsing while Scott is a stand in for John (Watt).


The lovely Watt (John Barleycorn) is having his mic hidden by our soundman Merlin.



Back at base the hairdressers are busy with the actors.


The lads in the warehouse scene, Angel, John and Tam.


Rory (Director) giving some sage advice to Angel and Tam.


The lights being used are 2 Rotolight Anovas, 2 Litepanel Astras, 3 Dedolight Fellonis and a Ledgo panel light.

warehouse dark


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

The Rig for my 7 day shoot next week

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The Rig v2

Next week will be very interesting indeed as I am the DoP for a small film to be shot near Pitlochry, thats as much as I can tell you but I have permission to blog about the technical side of this shoot depending on a Wi-Fi connection and having the time and energy to do it.

look down

I initially bought a Metabones speed booster but Production Gear told me that certain people were having problems using the Speed Booster with the Sony FS7 so they steered me towards the Metabones EF to E mount adapter. My Director, Rory asked me if there was anything we should hire for the shoot and since its in glorious 4K, I leaped at the chance of Canon 4K EF primes

Lens box

As you can see above 6 cracking Canon 4K primes hired from ProCam who have an office in Glasgow, we also ordered 2 Rotolight Anova LED lights as well as a ton of grip and lighting accessories.


I also have my trusty Cambo pull focus with end stops, this works a dream with proper cine lenses.

RED REC button

My faithful RED REC button will be very useful and stops false shots or missed shots.

Small HD 502

On the back of the FS7 will be my Small HD 502 full HD monitor though the picture is down-converted from 4K 25p to HD for monitoring purposes. My faithful Sony 9″ 740 will also come in handy for the director to view.

Scene 1

On Wednesday I took a trip with Rory, to recce the site high in the hills of Pitlochry. Its very exciting producing a feature with actors, crew and catering laid on, I can’t show you any rushes for copyright reasons but we will be documenting behind the scenes for you as we go along. Meantime why don’t you watch Canons explanation behind their superb 4K glass.

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

GoPro’s new baby the HERO 4 SESSION £329

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The GoPro HERO 4 SESSION is the smallest, lightest, most convenient GoPro yet.  50% smaller and 40% lighter than GoPro’s best-selling HERO4 Black and Silver cameras, HERO4 Session packs GoPro’s Emmy® Award-winning image quality and performance into an exciting new low-profile form factor. HERO4 Session benefits from a durable waterproof design that eliminates the need for a separate housing and features simple one-button control to make capturing immersive photos and video quicker and more convenient than ever before. HERO4 Session is compatible with existing GoPro mounts and will retail for $399.99 MSRP at authorized GoPro retailers around the world and on beginning July 12, 2015.

“With HERO4 Session, we challenged ourselves to produce the smallest, lightest, most convenient GoPro possible,” said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro founder and CEO. “HERO4 Session combines the best of our engineering and user-experience know-how to deliver our most convenient life-capture solution, yet.” Woodman adds, “I’m so excited about the launch of HERO4 Session because now I can finally use mine in public!”

HERO4 Session captures GoPro-quality 1080p60, 720p100 and 1440p30 video along with eight megapixel photos in Single, Burst and Time Lapse modes. It features many of the same innovative features found in GoPro’s best-selling HERO4 Black and Silver cameras, including SuperView™, Protune and Auto Low Light recording modes. An expanded set of controls and settings can be accessed when using the GoPro App or Smart Remote.

Operating HERO4 Session is very simple. A short press of the shutter button quickly powers the camera on and video recording begins automatically. A long press of the shutter button powers the camera on and triggers Time Lapse photo capture. Press the shutter button again to save video or photo content and power the camera off. This simple one button design drastically improves the speed and convenience of capturing life moments as they happen.

  •       Stunning 1080p 50, 720p 100, and 1440p 25 video
  •       Waterproof to 33’ (10m), no separate housing required
  •       Easy one-button control: short press of shutter powers camera on and begins capturing video, long shutter button press powers camera on and begins capturing time-lapse photos
  •       Captures 8MP Single, Burst, and Time Lapse photos
  •       Compatible with GoPro mounts and accessories
  •       Dual Mic system captures enhanced audio during high wind and water-based activities
  •       Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth® enable easy connectivity to GoPro App and Smart Remote
  •       Auto image rotation corrects image orientation during recording
  •       Includes standard and low-profile frame mounts for increased mounting versatility
  •       New Ball Joint Buckle mount is included

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

Follow focus will change forever …Red Rock Micro Halo

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I have a fairly massive shoot coming up in about a weeks time which I will be blogging about and Red Rock Micro’s Halo follow focus system would have been a dream tool on that up and coming feature. This is the all time best solution for follow focus I have seen and the best part is…it takes the guesswork out of follow focus, especially using shallow depth of field.

Halo detector

My only concern is the cost, Alex does mention enthusiasts and solo operators but have Red Rock spent so much time developing this amazing system that none of us will be able to afford it ?

Time will tell as its not available till the end of 2015.


My good old pal Badger from CVP saw this over at NAB 2015 and here is his report…

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

Sony PXW-FS7 FW v2.10

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FS& FW 2.1 title v2


As I was looking for the V2 software for my X70 I noticed Sony had sneaked a new FW for the FS7 you can get it here…

It has the following new features…


1.) Peaking, Zebra function improvement
• Peaking and Zebra function will become functional during Picture Cache Recording
2.) Monitor LUT limitations of Ver.2.00 are improved
• M-LUT remains“off” after S&Q
• M-LUT is not applicable to SDI-2 while 4K recording.
3.) Operation stability improvement

Information for future update:
Software update for “Center scan mode” which provides 2x crop recording is planned in this year.Sony will reflect customer’s voice to our products continuously.

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

Why not give us a try

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SV eshot June1st15 (800)

Its not often I bang my own drum but we do own some sexy gear and I would like to thank some of my readers who have passed on some work over the last 6 months. If you need a job filmed in the central belt of Scotland give us a shout.

Our latest Eshot tells you what we are capable of and some of our prestigious clients. You can also get a full run down of our kit here


Teamwork…the key to success

I had a phone call from one of my competitors looking for some footage for one of his clients riding down a runway on his Harley Davidson.

He had read I had just got a Ronin M and that I may be looking for something to film for my user review hence the cracking bike shots and a complete respect for Ronin M.

The reason for this story is teamwork, Gerry has no intentions of buying a Ronin M as its not a tool he can justify as part of his ever growing kit but he knows he can hire our services in the future.


Far too many of us, myself included forget the bigger picture and that some of us specialise in certain areas like Neil who is a professional certificated drone pilot. Neil is also a very competent cameraman but has invested in a very expensive hexicopter and spent a lot of time and money getting his pilots licence.

We don’t need to be a jack of all trades in this ever growing level of sophistication and expense, hiring each other for our strengths is the way forward.

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

6000 frame Timelapse…Fantastic

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_iss_2 v3

Russian photo blogger Dmitry Pisanko spent months digging through 100GB worth of archives from the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory of NASA, before compiling his selected photos into 6000 frames to produce a breathtaking, four-minute time-lapse video.

The images were gathered from the International Space Station that completes around 15 orbits a day, capturing the stunning aerial view of Earth and its gorgeous sights, such as the Northern Lights swirling beautifully in the atmosphere.

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

Its A Funny Old Week…ITV…tonight at 9.30pm

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Been busy this week, starting at Newcastle on a corporate shoot then Glasgow City centre to film an insert for Jason Manfords new ITV show, Its a Funney Old Week.

Me 800

Using my Sony PXW-FS7 with Ian my soundman using a boom mic and a radio mic via his sound mixer. Takes the pressure off a job when you have a professional sound man.

Ian 800

I was using two lenses on the day the Sony 10-18mm and the 28-105mm f4 lens, camera set to 1080 25p XAVC-I. Ian my soundman really appreciated the smallHD 502 monitor to make sure his boom mic was out of shot.

FS7 800

I have also added a bigger Red REC button to my FS7 handle as once again Sony insist on making these record buttons flush which can cause a miss fire. Sony has never recessed any other REC buttons so why start with the FS7 ?

The shoot went well and more importantly the weather was kind to us, you can see my efforts tonight on ITV at 9.30pm. Just a wee credit to my director Alex he was a joy to work with and we both fired ideas in unison. Second camera operator Freddie kept us well hydrated, thanks Freddie.


Once again anyone wanting an FS7-RED REC button email me at (£5 plus P&P).

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

Sony PXW-X70 4K Upgrade package CBKZ-X70FX = £360 plus vat

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This is Sony’s idea of a user friendly 4K upgrade path…

CBKZ-X70FX is the 4K Upgrade Option for PXW-X70. This option allows X70 to activate 4K(QFHD) XAVC Long GOP recording capability.
In this guide, the way to install the option on the PXW-X70 is described. Follow the steps below for the installation.

  1. Register with the dedicated website “eCSite.”
  2. Acquire the Install Key from “eCSite.”
  3. Install the option on the PXW-X70 by the install key.


• To use the 4K (QFHD) recording function, the software version of the PXW-X70 needs to be Ver. 2.00 or later. Confirm the software version of the camcorder you are using.

• To confirm the software version, operate the camcorder as follows:

Press the MENU button  select the (OTHERS) menu  [VERSION DISPLAY].

• When the software version is earlier than Ver. 2.00, update the software first. For details on how to update, see the Sony Website for professional products.


Enter the website below and complete the registration by following the on-screen instructions. If you have already registered, proceed to the next step, “Acquiring the Install Key.” registUserInfo?action=regulationsDirect

  • You need your user ID, name, e-mail address, company name, and country/area information to register.
  • You will receive an approval e-mail containing a password. It may take awhile until you receive the e-mail.
  • Carefully keep the registered user ID and password


  • Acquiring the Install Key
    •   Access “eCSite” and select “Enter The Site.”
    •  Input the “User ID” and “Password” you have registered, and select “Login.”
    •  Select “Install Key Request” in the top left of the screen.
    • Select “XDCAM-Camcorders” from the “Category” pull-down menu
    • Select “CBKZ-X70FX” from the “Model Number” pull-down menu, and select “Search.”

      Confirm that “CBKZ-X70FX” and “4K UPGRADE LICENSE” are shown in the “Model Name” and “Description” fields respectively.

      Input “Purchase Key” and “Unique Device ID,” and select “Next.”

      • The purchase key is the alphanumeric code shown in the SOFTWAREPURCHASE KEY NOTIFICATION e.g.  2AC3BD3820B1
      • You can check the unique device ID by operating the camcorder as follows:Press the MENU button – select the (OTHERS) menu – [OPTION].Check your input on the “Confirmation” screen.Note

        • The install key is issued even if you input the “Unique Device ID” incorrectly, however, you cannot install the option (4K (QFHD) recording function) on the camcorder. Be sure to check the input and to correct it if it is incorrect.

        Select “OK” after you have checked the input.

      • The message “Completed your Install key request” is displayed.
      • You will receive the following as individual attachments to tworespective e-mails.
        – Install key notification (a PDF file)
        – Install key list (a file without an extension)e.g.) CBKZ-X70FXINSTALLKEY_20150301123401234

    Installing the Option on the Camcorder

    1 Use a PC to copy the ”Install key list” (a file without an extension) you have received via e-mail onto the root directory of a Memory Stick or an SD card.

    2 Insert the Memory Stick or SD card that contains the install key list into the memory card slot A of the camcorder.

    3 Press the MENU button of the camcorder  select the (OTHERS) menu  [OPTION]  [INSTALL OPTION]  [OK].

    4 Select [OK] again.

    • The camcorder reboots and installing the option completes.


    • If you have failed to install the option because the unique device ID you input was incorrect, or etc., please contact us from the “Contact us” portion of the web site shown below.

    Sony Professional products web site home page: U.S.A.: Canada: Latin America: Europe, Middle East, and Africa: Japan: Asia Pacific: Korea: China:

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

New the Sony A7R II with internal 4K recording.

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Our guest blogger Peter Loughran has some interesting information about the newly announced Sony A7R II.

Peter “The newly announced Sony A7R II which features the world’s first back-illuminated 35mm full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor with 42.4 megapixels and no Anti-Aliasing filter, Fast Hybrid AF system (the A7R II features on-sensor phase-detect AF), 5-axis IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation …works with any lens, even non-stabilised and adapted Canon, Nikon etc.), 3.5 times faster sensor readout (little or no rolling shutter?), upgraded durable reduced-vibration mechanical shutter and/or fully electronic shutter option (for silent requirements and critical sharpness in stills mode…the mechanical shutter on the original A7R is notorious for its image-spoiling vibration and poor durability), and (at last!) …drum roll please …4K video with INTERNAL RECORDING! (XAVC-S 4K recording at maximum 100 Mbps bit rate [Full HD recording at 50 Mbps] to UHS-I compliant SD cards). Video can be recorded from the full-frame width or from a ‘Super 35mm’ crop area of the sensor which “processes readout data from every pixel without pixel binning” so effectively oversampling the image then down-sampling to the 4K format (similar to how the Samsung NX1 works) so should result in highly detailed images. Various video settings available including Picture Profile, S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut.
Video frame rates max out at 30fps in 4K, 60fps in Full HD 1080p and 120fps in HD 720p so not as good for slo-mo as the Samsung NX1 which can shoot good quality Full HD at up to 120fps (unlike the GH4s poor quality [oddball max 96fps] which I find unusable).
Clean HDMI out is available (uncompressed 4:2:2 8-bit) and can be used whilst recording internally.
The EVF (XGA OLED Tru-Finder) has been upgraded but, sadly, the upgraded rear LCD monitor remains tilt-only (not fully articulated) and still lacks touch-screen functionality. USB remains at USB 2.0 (why?) and the camera has a single memory card slot and no internal flash.
Overall the feature set of this camera appears to eclipse most others for those of us who desire a ‘hybrid’ camera system which can shoot both high quality stills and high quality video (including 4K recorded internally …no need for clumsy, ridiculous, expensive external recorders and flaky HDMI connections!).
It’s arrival (assuming the real world performance is as advertised) means that the A7s, with it’s low (stills) resolution, slow autofocus, no IBIS etc. starts to look very much like a one-trick pony …extreme low light performance where, I suspect, it will still reign supreme for those who need that specific capability and don’t mind having to use an external recorder for 4K.
Also of potential interest to users of the forthcoming A7R II (and any camera using HDMI out) is the just announced Sony CLM-FHD5, A compact 5.0 inch type Full HD (1920x1080p) LCD monitor with various video-specific shooting assist functions.
It appears that many of the A7R II function buttons are customisable but whether or not the shutter button (or another function button?) can be configured to act as video start/stop remains to be seen …if not there may be a greater market for your “Wee RED REC button” as the cameras video record button looks to be the same as on the A7s.”
More info here:


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

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