GH5 Faults “Playback button live during a recording”

Categories: Miscellaneous 9 Comments

Can you believe this major fault found only by accident by a colleague of mine during a live theatre show.

He was filming the show as a 3rd camera and accidentally pressed the green playback button when the GH5 stopped recording and went into playback mode.

This has be be one of the worst mistakes I have found with the GH5 so far and Panasonic need to urgently address this with a firmware update.

As it was a 3rd camera there will be no consequences to his recording but had it been a single camera it would have been a disaster.

The same happens with the GH5S as well !!!

It has been pointed out to me this problem has existed over a few incarnations of the GH line from the 3,4 and now 5. This is no excuse for sloppy engineering, if Panasonic want the GH5 to be taken seriously within the video world then a simple menu addition needs to be added allowing users to deactivate the playback function during recording.

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

NEW at BSC Expo the Arri Alexa LF €76,434 excl.vat

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Meanwhile back to a new expensive camera from Arri the Alexa LF, not sure if it should have been LP (Large Pockets). At a whooping €76,434 excl. vat you need to be producing something special to afford this camera.

Arri introduced the new system today at London’s BSC Expo, and claims the new system is smaller and lighter than current full frame models. The camera’s sensor measures 36.70 x 25.54mm and uses 4448 x 3096 pixels – all of which users will be able to utilize in open gate mode. When used in 16:9 mode a 31.68 x 17.82 mm area is exposed with a full 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This is a 36.3mm diagonal, so is fully compatible with lenses such as Zeiss’s Compact Prime and Cinema Zoom series of lenses.

A 2.39:1 ratio mode uses 4448 x 1865 pixels and a 39.8mm diagonal.

In all of these modes the camera can shoot at up to 90fps in Arriraw, but it can manage 150fps when used in 2.39:1. Arri says the sensor has an exposure latitude of ‘14+ stops’.

A new lens mount has been introduced with the system that uses a wider throat and a shallower flange so that lenses can be made with large maximum apertures that would not be possible with the narrow throat of the PL mount. It should also allow lenses to be slightly smaller and lighter. The LPL (‘Large PL’) mount is 62mm in diameter and has a depth of 44mm, so existing PL lenses can also be mounted via an adapter. Arri says it is making the LPL available under licence to other camera manufacturers and third party lens makers.

Its own collection of Arri Signature Prime lens system will comprise 16 lenses of between 12mm and 280mm. All will have a maximum aperture of T1.8 and will be compatible with the new LDS-2 lens data protocol, which Arri says it will also license. The mount will be able to read data from LDS-1 and /i lenses.

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

BlackMagic Designs new URSA Broadcast (4K & HD) £3306

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments

Introducing URSA Broadcast, the world’s most affordable and most flexible professional broadcast camera. URSA Broadcast is two cameras in one, an incredible field camera for ENG and programming work, as well as a professional studio camera! URSA Broadcast is perfect for traditional broadcasters because it uses the lenses and batteries you already own, and it also eliminates weird media cards and file formats found on traditional cameras. It records onto regular SD cards and uses the same common file formats found on broadcast media management systems and most NLE software.Plus URSA Broadcast is perfect for web broadcasters because it works with both older after marketHD lenses and inexpensive photo lenses.No other broadcast camera is more flexible and more affordable!

Effective Sensor Size

2/3 inch sensor size when using 4K B4 mount (Actual sensor size 13.056mm x 7.344mm)

Lens Mount

B4 2/3 inch

Lens Control

Electronic control via 12-pin broadcast connector. Control also possible via EF mount pins when using optional URSA Mini Pro EF Mount.

Dynamic Range

12 Stops+

Shooting Resolutions

3840×2160, 1920×1080

Frame Rates

Project frame rates of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps supported. Off-speed frame rates up to 60p.

Built in ND Filters

Four position ND filter wheel with clear, 2-stop, 4-stop and 6-stop ND filters.


Focus button turns on peaking, auto focus available using compatible lenses with focus servo.

Iris Control

Iris wheel and touchscreen slider for manual iris adjustment on electronically controllable lenses, iris button for instant auto iris settings on compatible lenses so no pixel is clipped in film mode. Scene average auto exposure in video and extended video mode.

Screen Dimensions

4 inch.

Screen Type

LCD capacitive touchscreen.

Metadata Support

Automatically populated lens data from electronic B4 lenses. Automatic recording of camera settings and slate data such as project, scene number, take and special notes.


Touchscreen menus on 4 inch screen. Push buttons for other controls. 2 assignable shortcut keys.

Timecode Clock

Highly accurate timecode clock. Less than 1 frame drift every 8 hours.


Wow is all I can add to this post, BlackMagic have done it again, a broadcast spec camcorder that takes B4 2/3″ lenses for just over £3000 is breathtaking. Sony, Panasonic and JVC will need to up their game to compete with this announcement.

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

XEffects 3D Sports Graphics $39 discounted till 6th February ($49)

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

Our first Sports Plugin for Final Cut Pro X has proved to be pretty successful since its launch in 2015. It’s been used on productions from broadcast news reports to sports day videos at schools & colleges and possibly everything in-between!  So after quite a bit of research, development and to be honest, numerous late nights and lots of strong coffee hunched over laptops, we’ve proudly just released XEffects 3D Sports Graphics.

The latest 3D Sports graphics from industrial revolution, from Football to Speedway.

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

ADVERT…Panasonic GH5S Now in Stock at H Preston

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Telephone 01684-575486 and ask for John or Andy.

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

ADVERT…Monday 29th January at Production Gear

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Join us at Production Gear HQ in Barnet, North London as we welcome professionals from Zeiss who will be talking about and demonstrating their fabulous CP3 prime and LWZ Zoom lenses.

Zeiss lens open day…Monday 29 January 2018 from 12:00 – 16:00 GMT at Production Gear Ltd, Unit 13, Wrotham Business Park, Potters Bar, EN5 4SZ

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

The findings of my Low Light experiment on the Panasonic GH5S

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I came to this knowing the GH5S was better in low light but its the little extras that this camera brings to the table that set it apart from the GH5.

The refresh rate of the Live Viewfinder (LVF) has been set at 120fps (Switchable to 60fps) twice that of the GH5, that would be a welcome FW update I would like to see on the GH5.

The MIC socket on the camera can now be switched from MIC with power to MIC with no power to LINE. The XLR settings remain the same from 48kHz/16bit, 48kHz/24bit to 96kHz/24bit.

In ISO Auto mode if using the older dB scale like I do there is one extra stop of minus gain from -12 to -14 and on the positive scale you get to 30dB (GH5 cut off point) to 33, 36, 39, 42, H45, H48, H51 and H54dBs.

The GH5S also has Dual ISO settings from Auto, Low (400) and High (2500). Dual native ISO means exactly that: there are two optimal settings for the camera. The native ISO of a camera is the sensitivity that gives the best images. Any other setting means applying gain, which amplifies the noise floor. Ideally, you should always use a camera at its native ISO.

Note : The cameras were set to 4K 25p 10bit 422 running at 400Mbps to get the best out of them using a 25mm Leica f1.4 lens set to f3.2, Dual ISO set to High.

I have to say the noise level at 6400 ISO on the GH5S is stunning especially when you consider 3200 ISO being the last usable ISO on the GH5.

I was not aware how noisy 6400 ISO was on the GH5 as I never use high ISO speeds.

The killer for me was the GH5S at ISO 12800 ISO on the GH5 it turns to a noisy mush while the GH5S is more than usable.

What about the killer blow that many commentators are banging on about, the lack of on board image stabilisation.

Simple, use a tripod or a Panasonic lens with power OIS. There is a cracking Panasonic lens the 12-60 f3.5-5.6 which is brought into light with the GH5S by utilising the higher ISO speeds this power OIS lens is a great standard zoom lens for the GH5S.

If Panasonic can do anything via firmware please allow us to lock the GH5/GH5S at a speed of a 50th. 

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

The Panasonic GH5S arrives in Glasgow

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

We have seen various snippets of low light capability with the Panasonic GH5S on the internet but none in my opinion done the good old fashioned way with a Colour Rendition Chart.

The GH5S has two native ISO settings HIGH and LOW or 400 ISO and 2500 ISO I will be comparing these beside a GH5.

Still love the Red REC button but sadly rarely use it as Panasonic have the sense to add the same functionality to the button at the front of the camera unlike the annoying Sony a7S cameras.

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Back in time…IBC 2010

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

Was looking through some old footage and came across this our first trip IBC in 2010 which was the year of the Panasonic AF101 at a mere £4,000.

Strangely enough I am informed that the Panasonic EVA-1 in now selling, not in the quantities of the AF101 but with a lot more competition in the market than the AF101 had.

27th May 2011…The Panasonic AF101 has started a massive ball rolling from the day it landed in the UK and beyond, Panasonic were quietly optimistic about world wide sales but were dumb struck by the uptake of the camcorder and has outstripped everyone’s expectations. Having owned one for the last 5 months I have only now had time to reflect on what has been a momentous journey with my Panasonic AF101.

So what made me sell my AF101 eventually…The resolution topped off at about 800 lines while the Sony FS100 gave you 1000 lines of resolution.

Here is the video I produced back in 2010 recorded at 1280 x 720 50p upscaled to 1920.

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GH5S First Thoughts

Categories: Miscellaneous 11 Comments

The king pin of low light filming to date has been the Sony A7s Mk11, thats why Panasonic are so desperate to knock them off their perch hence the GH5S.

Note. The GH5S no longer allows you to shoot 6K anamorphic but you can still shoot anamorphic.

An Australian company called DigiDirect did some impressive low light testing with the GH5S and the Sony A7s Mk11.

At 12800 ISO the GH5S out performs the Sony which is a first but when you take onboard the GH5S is 10bit, 422 while the Sony is 8bit 420 thats why the colour of the box in the shot is so different and more natural in my opinion, you are starting off with a punchier shot.

So why half the resolution i.e. 10.2MP compared to the 20MP GH5, remember 4K video only needs 8.3MP so having a 10.2MP sensor is no big deal apart for photographic work but we already know the GH5s is not a photographic camera.

You can also now set the audio to line input as well as mic input direct from the 3.5″ mini jack on the side of the camera.

One myth that grew along side the GH5S was its ability to shoot 10bit 422 footage in 4K 50p, unfortunately that was just a rumour as its still 8bit 420 filming 4K 50p but 10bit at 25p but so is the GH5.

You are getting 240fps slow motion thats an extra 60fps on top of the GH5.

With an additional cable via BNC to flash you can now use timecode in and out of the GH5S a very exciting professional feature used in higher end video productions.

I love the red REC button, really looks classy. Will I be getting a GH5S to add to my three GH5’s you bet. I decided to trim my budget, rejecting the Panasonic EVA-1 and bought GH5’s instead a great move for my present production needs.

One colleague of mine is now reflecting if he wants to buy the EVA-1 or a GH5S as he needs three of them so its £19,000 EVA-1 with no VF versus £6,600 GH5S (for 3 cameras).

Will the GH5S affect the EVA-1, only if price is a consideration, but its interesting this has been produced with the EVA-1 in mind, touting it as a camera with similar specs for higher end work, interesting though it does have the dual ISO setting the same as the EVA-1.

Sensor-shift IS systems operate by ‘floating’ the sensor using a series of electromagnets. Even when they’re ‘off’ they’re not locked in place, they’re simply set so that the electromagnets aren’t attempting to correct for movement. This has the side-effect that, which mounted on a professional stabilization rig, there’s a risk of the sensor being shaken around.

For high-end video work, Panasonic says its users would prefer to use dedicated gimbals and dollies, rather than internal stabilization, and that means physically locking the sensor in place to avoid unwanted interactions between these systems and a floating sensor.

However, regardless of what Panasonic says, there’s also the limitation imposed by the oversized sensor: since the camera captures right out to the edge of the image circle there’s simply no room to shift the sensor without risking capturing footage of the inside of your lens barrel. This is highlighted in the one situation in which the GH5S does offer digital stabilization: when combined with a lens offering optical stabilization. When engaged, the video has to crop-in slightly to provide room to pan and scan around the sensor.

The lads at WEX have done a great job explaining the new features of the GH5S…

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