Why I have stayed away from Skype on my 27″ iMac

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments

As seen from the same angle as my GH5

When you are limited to using an inbuilt static camera on your iMac its no wonder you stay away from Skype for demo purposes.

Static iMac shot

This is the HD camera in my 4 year old iMac and its appalling. Apple sell you great all in one computers like the 27″ iMac but compromise on the build of the in built camera.

This is the Logitech c920 HD camera (£59 on Amazon) that works with the iMac as long as you use an APP called WEBCAM SETTINGS (£7.99 Apple APP store). I am using Mojave on OS 10.14.3 and it works fine. Dont be put off by the bad reviews and its also 5 years old.

Logitech have their own app for the camera but it does not allow you the most important feature in WEBCAM SETTINGS the ability to adjust the GAIN. In advanced settings you can also focus the C920 manually. The best news is portability, your no longer stuck with a static camera position, you also get very useful 1.5m of cable.

iMac is a lot more fluffy than the Logitech c920

The Logitech c920 is a far superior picture in all ways the main one having the control over the gain and the ability to set manual focus and a good white balance.

I needed a camera to sit on top of the GH5 so I can use the GH5 shots in the main edit

I must thank this You Tubber Andrew Strugnell for showing me how good the c920 is on an iMac and remember this You Tube video is 7 years old.

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

Cinemartin gone bankrupt, very sad news

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Via Cinemartin’s Facebook page. “Bad news, we are about to close due to bankrupt. Our tie mother company leaves us with no other option.
End of Cinemartin probably by 1 April, the joke day, but our end as a filmmaking company.”

“Thank you for all your efforts and grattittude.
Soon we will make the public announcement”

HD Warrior were one of the first blogs to produce a review about their 7″ monitor which I still use.

The Cinemartin boys from Spain will be missed by many of us who were looking forward to their 8K FRAN camera, possibly a giant step too far.

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

Big changes for HD Warrior my new Video Podcast starting with the Panasonic S1

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Once a month I will be producing a video Podcast, this month I will be starting with the new full frame Panasonic S1

My good friend Rick Young has this very camera coming tomorrow and he will be giving me his first thoughts on the Panasonic S1 at the end of this week.

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

Well done JVC awarded “Best Camcorder 2018” for the GY-HM180 4K camcorder

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Great news for JVC, John Kelly receiving the award from the quarterly international magazine for professional filmmakers for their 4K GY-HM180 camcorder.

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

RODECaster PRO with Multitrack added via firmware 1.1.0

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The first major firmware update for the RODECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio has arrived. Update 1.1.0 introduces a stack of new features to the RODECaster Pro, including the much-anticipated multitrack functionality, as well as an updated user interface and mix-minus on the USB output.

I was excited at this when it was mentioned over a month ago as I prefer to record all my tracks separately, but it comes at a cost. For those who use Mac programs such as Garage Band 10 (I don’t) I think you can get this to work. Rode don’t hide the fact that it works with a £55 audio program called REAPER but its overly complicated in my opinion.

The fly in this ointment is that it only gives you multitrack via USB in other words you need a laptop plugged into the output if it is to work for you expanding the gear needed to make this very slick, self contained audio mixer work in multitrack mode, such a shame in my opinion.

Why RODE could not have made this feature self contained beats me when you are not limited by the micro SD card, after all a 128G mSD card gives you 94 hours of record time so adding a few more tracks to this would have been easy rather than this cumbersome solution.

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

Grid Slide Show for video and stills $39 save $10 today

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XEffects Grid Slideshow is a modular set of plugins that combine to build beautiful, clean slideshows based on a grid theme. 

The pack of 66 plugins contains pixel accurate moves, grid overlays, grid offsets, section masks and grid overlay transitions.

The user can then combine these to build stylish and professional looking presentations combining stills and video. No clumsy dropzones, audio is maintained and every variable can be trimmed or tweaked instantly on the Final Cut Pro X timeline.

No limitations on durations or media sizes, build exactly what you want, with a grid style in minutes.


  • Modular plugins for flexibility
  • Fast rendering
  • Stack up moves, masks, offsets and overlays
  • Use any media including video
  • No clumsy drop zones 
  • Many customisable parameters.
  • 4K Ready
  • Free watermarked trial

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

A Sony FS7 and a soundman in the boot of your car

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Making adverts is not an easy option in video at the best of times but even harder when you come from Glasgow and live in Spain, my good friend Laura takes up the story.

We were contacted by Leos agency (son) for the job, they needed a native English speaking family including a middle aged mum, a 6 year old boy and a teenage girl acting as brother and sister.
The ad was for an Internacional company called Gestamp https://www.gestamp.com/
The agency sent me the script and we sent off a video of us acting out the diologue in more or less the same settings.
A couple of days later the agency got back to us saying we had got the part!
The camera crew came to the house the evening before the shoot and we rehersed our lines inside my car parked in the garage.

Sony FS7

Morning of the shoot we were picked up at 0800 and arrived at shooting destination near Segovia around 0930, tempreture -2°
The team had set up some tables with hot coffee,pastries, fruit ect.We all had a quick bite to eat before I was wisked off by the makeup artist to get my hair and make up done ….in the back of a car of course as it was so cold!
Shortly after we were all hooked up with our mics from sound manager Miguel carrero from http://isole.es/ who spend most of the day in the car boot.

I was planked in the seat of fancy automatic Mercedes and asked to drive it for the day whilst remembering my lines so that was a bit nerve racking to say the least.
The road we were filming on was cut off to traffic so we were able to stop the car at any time allowing the camera crew who were in a van in front of us make any adjustments with the cameras, lighting etc.
We all had walkie talkies so communication was very straight forward and clear. They were able to tell me if something needed changed or said in a different way or in my case “smile more”

We drove up and down the same road all day making stops in the car park to change camera position ect.
We had some lunch and continued filming until sun set.
Kids were very patient, and the team couldn’t be nicer.
Overall a great experience.

Kines Producciones is a video production company stationed in Madrid, Spain. Specialized in the production of corporative and institutional videos, advertising, the technical organization for events and producing feature films and documentary.

With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, we count with an advanced and experienced group of professionals. We handle all the different necessities that may surface during the production process, from the preparation, the post-production and the final distribution. All with the ability to do so with our own resources. The video was directed by Ruben Mateo.

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

Sennheiser giving RODE a run for their money £289

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Not to be out done Sennheiser have arrived with a neat radio mic system called the XSW-D system.

Got to admit when I first this new system I was completely confused, but makes a lot of sense when you look into it with a bit more depth thanks to You Tube videos.

The one downside of the RODE system in my books is the size of the transmitter its huge compared to any other system on the market today. I think Sennheiser have addressed this with the new easy to setup system.

My only reservation is Sennheiser’s insistence on calling it an entry level system this will stop a lot of pro users buying this kit.

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

10 Years blogging HD Warrior

Categories: Miscellaneous 9 Comments

Wow 10 years already so what’s changed over the last 10 years blogging.

In my first month’s post I was telling the world that a 64G P2 card was £1708 and consisted of four 16G SD cards, so why were they so expensive ?

It was all about HD 1920 x 1080 in those far flung days 4K was only a pipe dream. Today I only edit in 4K 50p with 8K on the horizon.

My very first video review was for the JVC HM700 HD camcorder

The video review was recorded with a Sony PMW-EX3, a very good HD camcorder apart from the IR filter which had a tendency to record blacks with a brown cast. You can actually see this in the review on my black/brown vest.

The exception to 4K 50p is my latest acquisition, my DJI Mavic 2 which only records at 4K 25p, so I choose to film at 2.7K 50p at 100Mbps. I do know that the Mavic 3 will have 4K 50p but I didn’t want to wait until DJI announce the Mavic 3. Let’s also hope the Mavic 3 will allow a bigger photograph than 72dpi.

On the 7th of March 2016 I wrote one of my hardest blog postings.

This is me at the Victory Services Club in the heart of London just after BVE 2016, since my trip to BVE.

I have suffered a small stroke so have to take things a lot slower even blogging. My speech is affected as is my balance but I have been lucky, so no reviews for a while and no late night blogging. I am so sorry to my regulars  who like their daily dose of HD Warrior. This has had a major impact of my business as I still suffer very bad fatigue in the afternoons, this was one side effect that my neurologist told me would not go away.

My thanks to all my family for keeping me sane over the last 3 years with all their love and a special mention to Scott for keeping me occupied filming his blog productions for The Footly Blog.

To keep myself sane I started to produce a You Tube program called One Roving Cook which also kept me up to speed with my new 4K Panasonic GH5 cameras. This kept me going until I ran out of family members willing to take part and recipes.

Chris Attkins and me at the Scottish TV reunion

During the wonderful summer of 2018 my ex-boss Chris Attkins asked me if I was up for a behind the scenes documentary about the film he was producing called Uncowed. To be filmed entirely on the wonderful Scottish island of Arran.

I jumped at the chance and it was a wonderful two weeks working again with all my friends and colleagues from 20 years ago at Flashback Video. I am very proud of the end result so here it is again in case you missed it first time round.

My behind the scenes documentary about the filming of Uncowed

I cannot go without thanking some of my site sponsors both past and present. A big thanks to HOLDAN for sponsoring me for a couple of years. My thanks to JVC Professional for their continuing sponsorship and to Production Gear for their sponsorship and special deals for me and my readership. A giant thanks to my oldest sponsor H. Preston Media who has supported this sight for the last 10 years, giving me and many of my readers great deals over the last 10 years. A big thanks to all my readers who keep me writing this blog week after week and thanks for the last 10 years.

I do hope Panasonic stick with the micro 4/3 format going forward into 8K. Why 8K…this would be awesome cutting into/re-framing the 8K picture on the HD or 4K timeline.

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

Emergency parachute deployment for drones

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What a great idea but no mention of cost.

Both the US and UK require drone operators to get permission before operating a small UAV (sUAV) above a crowd, a limitation that intends to protect innocent bystanders from injury in the event of a drone crash. Waivers are offered on a case-by-case basis by both the US’s FAA and the UK’s CAA, but require operators to show how people below will be protected if the drone experiences a failure mid-flight.

The FAA granted its first waiver in October 2017, when it gave CNN permission to fly a Vantage Robotics Snap drone featuring protective rotor cages over a group of people. A parachute system like the Indemnis Nexus offers a different type of protection, one that is the first ever to meet the international ASTM F3322-18 standard for small UAVs.

The standard covers deployable sUAV parachute systems, including design, fabrication, and testing, and was designed to help drone operators get permission for flying over crowds from agencies like the FAA and CAA.

According to Indemnis, it was required to pass a series of 45 functionality tests spread across five drone failure scenarios. Testing took place at New York’s Griffiss International Airport in a controlled airspace; the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance oversaw the process.

The Indemnis Nexus system is designed to strap onto existing DJI drones, which it monitors using sensors. If the sensors detect a flight disruption, a ballistic launcher deploys a parachute at 90MPH / 144kmh. The tube containing the parachute is designed to inflate in order to protect the parachute from the drone’s rotors and body.

The drone was validated for use with the DJI Inspire 2, but may be offered for the Matrice 200 and 600 series, as well, by the end of the year.

Indemnis ASTM Testing from Indemnis on Vimeo.

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

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