Look Listen Experience at the Glasgow Science Centre

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We went down to the Glasgow Science Centre yesterday for a look round the Visual Impact show.


As an experiment we had the GoPro 4 on a 3 axis gimbal while I had a shotgun mic running into a Tascam DR-44 digital recorder. Unfortunately as we were using the iPhone for the GoPro we could not monitor the DR-44 via Wi-Fi. This would have allowed me to remotely start the recording…set to stand-by ! Time was at a premium and when it was noticed at 11.30am it was time to leave to travel through to Edinburgh for a paying job.






Sennheiser were showing a new digital radio mic system priced at £700, twice the price of the new RODE digital radio mic system.

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

LOOK LISTEN EXPERIENCE 2015 at the Glasgow Science Centre by Visual Impact

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Starting at 10am at the Glasgow Science Centre, one day only… see the latest video equipment, this is one of the few decent video shows held in Scotland so don’t miss out.

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

JVC GY-LS300 4K Super 35mm camcorder “First Thoughts”

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The JVC GY-LS300 will be on show at the Glasgow Science centre on Tuesday the 17th March at the Visual Impact, Look Listen Experience show.

I am a tad busy at the moment and can’t give this camcorder my full attention but hope JVC can lend it to me for a few more days. As it happens I am off to Edinburgh filming on Tuesday so can only attend the show till about 12pm.

Here are some of my findings so far…


This is a stroke of genius by JVC, we have a camera that takes a far wider range of lenses with the appropriate lens adapter, JVC sent me a Metabones Canon to MTF Speed Booster. With a full frame Canon 50mm f1.4 lens you can access all of the Super 35mm sensor.


Low light testing…the LS300 can easily use 12dBs of gain without compromising your picture, I will go into this in more detail on the video review.


When I first added my Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 MTF lens I was horrified to find vignetting at the top of frame, a call to Mike Turner soon had me into the VSM mode. The LS300 gives you full access to your MTF lenses from auto focus to full aperture control.


You get HD-SDI and HDMI sockets at the hand grip side of the camera and a zoom rocker switch, I tested my Panasonic 45-175 power zoom lens and it works a treat, this once again will be shown on the video review.

Did I find any negatives about the camera…that will have to wait for the video. Please remember the version I have is an engineering sample so any negatives may be sorted out by firmware.

So far I am very impressed with JVCs LS300, out of the box glorious rich natural colours a common feature with JVC camcorders, having interchangeable lenses and a servo zoom rocker switch helps sell this camera and Variable Scan Mapping is just pure genius.

UPDATE : JVC have recalled the camera for other commitments so the video review will be delayed till I get it back at the end of this month.

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

Back to basics…Steven Spielberg “Shot by Shot”

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I found this fascinating from a professional point of view, interestingly Spielberg never uses any hand held shots in Jaws, which may be a lesson many of you could bear in mind.

I thought this was going to be boring at first but you get “hooked” by the sheer genius of Spielberg’s directing skills and the amount of thought that goes into what looks like a simple shot that is contained by complex acting movements.

Take the time to watch this and learn from a true cinematic master.

STEVEN SPIELBERG Shot By Shot from Antonios Papantoniou on Vimeo.

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

Rotolight NEO on camera light £300

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Rotolight A look at NEO’s new key features:

Designer Fade™ Mode: Broadcast Video cameras typically feature an auto-fade button, whereas DSLR camerasdo not. Neo for the first time allows DSLR cinematographers to create and design unique custom fade up / fade down production effects for your Video, or to seamlessly transition between scenes.  True Aperture Dimming™: NEO features a world’s first ground-breaking feature. Neo uses exposure informationfrom the camera (Shutter speed and ISO) plus distance to the subject and data from the light to accurately calculate the correct aperture (F-Stop), whilst also compensating for skintone contrast. This allows the photographer or cinematographer to work intuitively with the light, and no longer need to meter every shot saving valuable time. As you adjust the distance from your subject, or the brightness of the Neo, you would simply re-enter the relevant settings and Neo would display the updated recommended aperture accordingly (F-STOP).

Accu-Colour™ Technology: Best-in-class LED technology featuring an Overall CRI = 95 / 100 & near perfect skintone reproduction R15 Skintone = 99 / 100. TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) = 85 / 100. Ideally suited for professional Television use. “The tuneability was crucial to both projects I tried NEO on. Being able to accurately match the additional lighting (ANOVA 2, HMI, fluorescent and tungsten) that we have been using has been really useful. I think that we are now in at a stage with LED lighting where tuneable colour temperature is becoming an increasingly usable option rather than a gimmick and Rotolight with the Anova and now NEO are at the forefront of that technology.” Simon Edwards

Featuring an intuitive dual rotary encoder control system for rapid brightness and colour temperature adjustment in the field, and Rotolight’s ‘Dynamic Drift Compensation’ for smooth dimming from 0%-100% with no colour shift. Neo can be powered by 6 AA batteries for up to 5 hours (or 3 hours at 100% power), AC adapter or D-TAP cable, drawing only 9W at full power. “Not many years ago we were used to lugging battery belts around for our battery lights and the lights themselves were pretty brutal things to use. Thankfully we nolonger need to do that! I used the NEO primarily as a battery powered light, eitheron AA batteries or using a D-Tap adaptor from the output on the camera. Obviously it draws very little power and certainly made no difference to the running time of my camera. The AAs certainly seemed like an economical option too and of course being a universally available battery there would be no problem sourcing extra batteries in the field. I didn’t time the life of the AAs, I just let it run and run. It went on for hours!“ “I think NEO offers so much to so many people; stills and moving pictures, experienced camera people and those at the start of their careers, DSLR or full size cameras. NEO truly is a light for everyone and with Rotolight’s pro-active approach to customer feedback and development I can see this being the beginning ofthe next generation of LED lighting coming from their Pinewood manufacturing base. I can’t recommend NEO highly enough – I see it becoming an industry standard unit.”Simon Edwards

GTC The Rotolight NEO is now available to pre-order from www.rotolight.com, retailing at just £299.99 the NEO will be shipping in April 2015!

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

New Sony player PMW-PZ1

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Sony today announced a new 4K SxS memory player, the PMW-PZ1, a high quality and cost-effective playback solution for 4K shooting and post-production applications. The PMW-PZ1 features multi-format playback capability for 4K (24p to 60p) and HD video, supporting a variety of formats including XAVC Intra & Long, MPEG HD422 and MPEG HD, covering professional to consumer range of uses.

The PMW-PZ1 is equipped with an SxS card slot, a HDMI output, 3G/HD-SDI outputs (x4), an audio output, LCD colour monitor and more. This combination of versatile interfaces enables the seamless playback, copying and monitoring of 4K and HD video across a diverse range of applications, not only for video production but also for the development of 4K equipment, 4K video walls at events, exhibitions, museums and more.

During field or location shoots, 4K images captured on cameras such as Sony’s PMW-F55 can be immediately checked on the PMW-PZ1, or output to a professional monitor or consumer TV via HDMI. At event venues, 4K video can be output to digital signage or projectors. It can also be used to copy data in SxS media directly to an external storage without employing any other devices.

“Despite the rapid growth of 4K shooting and editing, the playback of 4K video clips generally still requires costly high-powered computers or servers operated by users from technical backgrounds,” said Lucie Wendremaire, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “The PMW-PZ1 addresses the market need for an affordable, simple-to-use and compact 4K playback solution. It is compatible with a variety of formats, possesses a host of practical inputs/outputs for easy connections, and offers an intuitive interface readily operated by all users.”

The PMW-PZ1 has a number of key features that make it an ideal choice for those looking for a reliable 4K/HD memory player:

Multi-format capability in 4K and HD

The PMW-PZ1 has a highly flexible multi-format playback capability for 4K and HD. It can playback a variety of formats including XAVC Intra, XAVC Long, XAVC S-Long(*1), MPEG HD422(*1) and MPEG HD(*1).

(*1) Requires firmware upgrade (planned for autumn 2015).

Simple copy and backup process

The PMW-PZ1 is equipped with a USB interface designed for connection to an external USB storage device. This enables users to copy data in SxS media directly to external storage without the need for other devices. The PMW-PZ1 creates a copy log(*2) (csv format) in the external USB storage device which helps users to easily check the file names of copied files. For greater accuracy in the copy process, users can activate a verify function before copying to avoid any copy errors.

(*2) Requires firmware upgrade (planned for autumn 2015).

Versatile interfaces

Connectivity and inter-operability with other devices are vital for any memory player to enable quick and easy operation. The PMW-PZ1 meets this need with a host of versatile input and output interfaces, including a HDMI port and four 3G/HD-SDI outputs. Through the HDMI port, the PMW-PZ1 can be connected to professional monitors and projectors, or even consumer TVs, for the most flexible operation under various production circumstances. An independent audio output is also available on the player. The PMW-PZ1 is equipped with two USB interfaces – one for connection to external USB storage, and the other to a mouse device for the user to control the PMW-PZ1. Not only does this enable data to be copied, but also allows the user to play stored clip data from the external USB storage device.

The PMW-PZ1 will be available from June 2015 onwards.

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

4 Channels of audio coming for the Sony FS7 in v0.2 Firmware

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Sony have played a blinder with the FS7 by adding the Multi-Interface shoe at the front of the camcorders handle. This has allowed Sony to add 4 Channels of sound to the camera with v2 FW upgrade due out this month. I have been waiting for this adapter for over 6 weeks for my A7s, hopefully it will come this week.

Support for 4-channel Audio Input and Recording
The FS7 supports 4-channel audio input. In applications such as an interview, this function enables the simultaneous use of an external microphone for recording ambient sounds, the built-in microphone for voice memos by the operator, and two optional UWP Series wireless microphones for voice of interviewer and interviewee.


In addition, the use of optional XLR adapter XLR-K1M or XLR-K2M provides additional 2 XLR inputs to further expand the range of possible applications.

The only downside to this arrangement is the inability to mount a camera top light, if only Sony had added a shoe onto the XLR-K2M adapter.

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

Panasonics P2-ROP app that turns your iPad into a fully fledged CCU via Wi-Fi

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The Panasonic P2 ROP (P2 Remote Operation Panel) free app is a highly functional user interface for supported Panasonic P2 Camera recorders. It features all the necessary functions contained within a traditional hardware ROP such as the optional AG-EC4 remote controller but in a software application.


This app is a master stroke from Panasonic and a major bonus for PX270/PX5000 owners. Not only do you have a master CCU right at your finger tips you also have the ability to watch proxy files as well.


IMPORTANT : Panasonics P2-ROP app is only available for the Apple iPad at the moment.


Proxy browser is also built into the app so that operator can adjust the setting while checking recorded clips with thumbnail and previewing. Metadata can also be displayed and edited on iPad to support post production work.


You need to purchase an AJ-WM30 Wi-Fi module to make this possible, on the PX270 the WM30 fits underneath a sliding cover on the hand grip, keeping it out of harms way (£144).

My colleague Alister came over on Thursday to have his two Panasonic PX270s upgraded to the latest firmware 16.30-00-0.00, giving him the new lossless AVC-Intra 200 Codec as well as the ability to use P2-ROP. We were very impressed with P2-ROP and tested it outside at a distance of about 40 feet, at one point it lost the Wi-Fi signal when the camera was recording but surprisingly it initialised itself when the camera was nearer the iPad and it was still recording, so even if your signal is lost temporarily all is not lost.

Setting up the Wi-Fi was a wee bit tricky but we managed it. I will go into further detail next week.

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

Sony PXW-FS7 produces a non standard SD PAL signal

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Having spent £200 on an HDMI to SDI Atoms converter I now discover the HDMI socket on my FS7 is producing a non standard SD signal.

576/50i is the standard PAL SD signal not 575/50i, this is why my converter can’t “see” the SD signal being produced from my FS7.

Why do I need an SD signal…I can be called to film a live feed into a satellite truck and most of them only accept SD signals. I need the ability to feed an SD signal via a SDI socket which the FS7 can’t do natively.


If any other FS7 owner can test the HDMI SD output I would be very grateful.

I hope Sony are on to this and repair the SD signal from the HDMI socket in the up and coming v.2 firmware.

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

Replacing the Sony FS7 Loupe diopter from +1 to +3

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During BVE I met a chap who also had a Sony FS7 and told me how he had changed the diopter in the loupe. Although not marked the original diopter is a 1:1 magnification which is as minimal as you can get.

This is why older eyes like mine are finding it hard to see focus and the beauty of this re-engenering is its simplicity.


All you need to do is buy a 52mm +3 Hoya close up lens and unscrew the original, replacing it with the far better optics of the HOYA close up lens…job done. Now its so much easier to see focus all for the cost of about £20.

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

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