2 Cameras 2 Reviews now in the editing stage

Categories: Miscellaneous 10 Comments


I am now looking through all the footage deciding wether to do a bumper review or to split the footage into two reviews, give me your thoughts if you have feelings either way.

UPDATE : Having cut my FS100 review of the camcorder and its features it lasts 9 minutes alone so I have decided to cut 2 reviews as it would be far to long to include both cameras.

The pictures from both these cameras at 1080 50p are better than cameras 4x their price, they are drop dead gorgeous. The best thing about both these Sony camcorders is that they down-convert to 720p, now you may well ask why drop to 720 when you have such wonderful footage. FCP-7 does not have the ability to edit 1080 50p as yet but you can down-convert from 1080 50p to 720 50p and the pictures look great.

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

Larry with egg on his face

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Good old Larry took the bull by the horns and told it as it was…in his opinion…but must have caused a giant wave of horror to flow through Apple headquarters as he announced that Final Cut Pro 10 was “not ready for professional use”.

Larry is the guru of Final Cut Pro 7 and is a great educator for everyone who wants to anything about FCP, he is simply one of the best.

Larry takes up the story…

“There are about 85 emails in my in-box this morning with links to a speech I gave at the April Final Cut Pro User Group about my reactions to Apple’s presentation of Final Cut at NAB.

While I stand by most of my remarks, there was one unfortunate moment where I said, with a special dramatic emphasis for the crowd, that Final Cut Pro X was not ready for professional use.

I believed that then. I don’t believe it now.

When I made that presentation to the LAFCPUG, it was the week after NAB; a week after Apple presented the new version of Final Cut to the world. When I watched that presentation, I was watching it through the prism of my experience with Final Cut Pro 7 and all I knew about the application was what Apple showed on stage in their demo.

How could anything that radically different equal what we already had in Final Cut Pro 7?

I knew this new version was far more than iMovie – but, at that time, I didn’t think it was Final Cut Pro, either.

Its no secret that Apple gave me rare access to the software by inviting me to a demo of an early build of the software in February this year. However, what is not known, is that they also gave me permission to contact their development team to discuss the new version.

After NAB, and after my presentation at that April LAFCPUG meeting, I finally had time to follow-up on Apple’s offer. And I did. A lot.

I peppered them with questions:

• Why did Apple decide to totally reinvent the interface?

• Why did Apple feel they couldn’t simply do an incremental improvement to what we already had?

• Why did they only talk about Final Cut Pro?

• Why did they add the features they did?

• Why did they not mention others?

• What did they view as the future of editing, and who did they see doing the work?

While I can’t tell you what Apple told me until after the NDA lifts with the release of the product, I can tell you that what I learned during those conversations has completely changed my opinion.

Because so many of us base our lives on this software – both creatively and financially – there is a lot of stress whenever a new version comes out. Especially a radically different new version.

I understand, I feel the same stress.

But I no longer feel, as I once thought, that this is a step backward. Based on what I learned during my conversations with Apple, I believe this release provides us with an opportunity for a large step forward.

Now, we just have to wait and see what Apple ships.

For many of us, this will be a giant leap into something truly exciting. There is a lot of news to share and I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

That day can’t come soon enough.”

Well done Larry for giving Apple a good kicking, I along with hundreds of Professional editors are getting fed up with Apples insistence on keeping all of us in the dark about FCP-10, we deserve better.

We still do not know the following…

Soundtrack Pro V10 ?

DVD Studio Pro V10 ?

Compressor V10?

Blu-ray support or even DVD support ?

We do know the following…

Final Cut Pro 10 available during June 2011

Motion 4 has been updated to V5

You can see Apples insistence on keeping us in the dark if Abobe had a new version of Premiere on the offering but 5.5 is just out so Apple are playing a stupid and dangerous cat and mouse game in my humble opinion.

Poor Steve Jobs is ill and my best wishes go out to him but his temporary departure does not mean the rest of Apple becomes sick also !

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

Last day of filming

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It’s a hard life filming video reviews, or should I say getting harder to come up with original settings to produce my video reviews.

Arran is Scotland in miniature so has a lot of locations that lend themselves to video, today we were filming a section of video for Chris who is producing a 2 minute video about living life to the full.

Gus our diver for the afternoon is just over 70 years old and has been diving for over 20 years.

You will see our exploits in the up and coming video review.



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

One review two cameras

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


Almost one year later I have come back to Arran to review the new Sony cameras the NX70 and the FS100.
Chris and myself have produced a 3 camera shoot with two NX70s and the FS100.
I am using my iPad 2 for this entry and is not as user friendly as my computer but this at least allows me to update you all on what’s going on.
I will be back tomorrow and hope to edit the review for later next week.

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

Sony NX70 “filming a corporate shoot”

Categories: Miscellaneous 12 Comments

I was out all day filming with the Sony NX70 and its only in such situations that you get to see the real camcorder. The one thing that I had already discovered was the lack of control over the speed of the zoom using the cameras on board rocker switch so I was very glad I had the Manfrotto 521 zoom control on my Miller tripod handle.

Having full control over the camcorders zoom speed is rather essential on a corporate shoot. The one thing I did notice was how accurate and locked-on the auto focus was, all day I used the camcorder in auto focus and with one exception when I was filming a motorway about half a mile away and a van drove past the camera did the autofocus falter. I am not an autofocus fan, far from it, but this camera is exceptional at not hunting and possibly more accurate and faster than my older eyes that I took the decision to keep it on all the time…very impressive.

The size of the camera allows it to be used in various situations like the one above when Dave had to pull the pallet of irn-bru, giving me a nice perspective. The menu is very user friendly having the gain (G) and shutter (S) available to hand was a real boon, it’s a simple touch of the (G) ikon and you can set the gain and this is also available to you while the camera is in record mode.

At one point I had to record Dave doing some pretend talking to someone at the end of a mobile phone so I plugged in my RODE NTG-2 with softy as it was a rather windy day and what a joy to be able to use XLR inputs once again, better still to be able to control the audio level was superb.

The Sony NX70 coped admirably with all situations thrown at it and the 1080 50p pictures on my 50″ Panasonic plasma were truly breathtaking, solid and sharp as a tac, in fact this wee camera produces better pictures than camcorders 4x it’s price, I kid you not. I am so glad I plumbed for the NX70 though I saw its potential at Haydock last month and put my name down for a camera after that show. One disappointment is the “G” lens used on the camera although its very sharp you loose 1.5 stops of light from wide to tight and that can be really annoying, the MC50 has the same problem we were all hoping Sony would give us the same type of lens seen on the EX-3 but alas. Most retailers got stock last Tuesday and already most of them are sold out, H Preston Media are getting more NX70s next Tuesday but don’t hang around they are flying off the shelves like hot cakes at the new lower price of £2562.

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

Sony’s NX70 has arrived

Categories: Miscellaneous 5 Comments

Lets start with this wee switch…zoom, focus and iris, by setting this switch to iris you get full step less manual control of the iris, fantastic. The manual focus is useful but I cannot see much use for the manual zoom setting.

The main menu gives you 6 options, Shooting Mode, this gives you the options for movie (normal mode), slow record (slow motion very impressive), golf shot (little to no use) and photo mode (12MP) very good. The next ikon we see is Camera/Audio this is self explanatory allowing you to change all the manual parameters like gain, shutter etc. plus sound tweaks. The next screen called Rec/Media set is where we find the ability to format your card, change from internal 96GB to external SDHC card. You also change your rec mode here from HD to SD or from 1080 50i to 1080 50p.

TC/UB is timecode and user bit tweaking. Edit/Copy gives you the option to delete, protect,copy and direct copy. Lastly Setup allows you to change things like your HDMI output from 1080p to 720p or 1080i and even SD a very useful feature.

At the back of the camera we have the mode switch allowing you to switch from video to photo, then we have the Auto/Manual switch and beside that we have the SD card slot which has a lock, very useful. I have also discovered that the camcorder is not as clever as we all first thought, sadly, it does not record video onto SD and internal memory at the same time which is a blow for us safety conscious solid state junkies. It will allow you to record at a lower 1080 50i setting onto the SDHC card and let you use the photo feature simultaneously recording the 12MP JPEGs onto the internal memory.

At the LCD side of the camcorder we have a sliding door and inside you can have various size batteries the biggest being the NP-FV100 6.8v 3900 mAh infoLithium battery capable of running the NX70 for well over 8 hours !

Just above the power switch is your headphone socket and note the green button a lock which needs to be pushed in order for it to be switched on or off.

Unfortunately Mr Attkins Sony did not grant you your wish and give you a through lens instead we have a Sony G lens 10x that looses 1.5 stops of light from wide to tight, there is also a digital 120x zoom but as usual a gimmick rather than a practicable addition ton the feature set.

The rocker switch is not what it first seems…a variable zoom control…no you only achieve smooth zoom control using an external zoom handle like the Manfrotto 521i, the good side to this is that Sony have decided to bring back the Lanc control 2.5mm mini jack accessed under a flap on the hand grip.

XLRs and full manual control of your sound levels plus VU metering on the LCD itself…yee ha…interestingly Sony have put a sticker on the top of this telling us that this part of the camcorder is not water or dust proof.

Today (Thursday) I will be using the NX70 in anger, very much a run and gun situation, I am recording 1080 50p and will blog about it later on this evening.

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

Warning…Do you have one of these under your desk !

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

This equipment was installed in my edit suite in preparation for the day that my mains power failed and it would give me several precious minuets to switch off my computer…today it went into melt down mode !!!

I was outside with my brother in law running in a second cable for my HD Sky box and we got a whiff of a fishy smell now and again, after about an hour I went into the edit suite to be confronted with a pungent fish smell…the smell of burning electronics. Fortunately I had installed an isolator switch which kills all the power at once then the window was opened. After a while I did my detective work feeling each and every piece of equipment, at first I thought it was the AJA box as it was beside the APC then touching the APC it was burning hot.

It was literally chucked out the back door and left to cool down where on further examination half an hour later revealed the back up batteries were on melt down.

I do find it very unreassuring that a device made to protect your computer equipment from surges, overloads and power failure can itself smoulder to the point of meltdown without having it’s own inbuilt safety device,…what can I say…other than my advice is as follows…

If you have this model APC Smart-UPS 750, switch it off and take it back to the retailer as it’s far to dangerous to be left alone in an office, I have contacted the company and await their comments.

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

Sony’s FS100 “First Look” from Doug Jensen

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While we wait for the new Sony FS100 to appear why not look at Doug Jensen’s footage, Doug produces tutorial DVDs for Vortex Media which teach you how to use various levels of Sony Camcorders, I bought one of his DVDs teaching me a lot more about my Sony EX3, well worth the money.

A week before the 2011 NAB Convention, Sony sent a pre-production NEX-FS100 for me to shoot some demo footage for use in my F3/FS100 workshops they asked me to teach at the show.

The camera arrived on a Saturday morning. I set it up on my DSC test chart and created a custom Picture Profile that looked good to me. Please keep in mind that you should never judge a Sony camera right out of the box. You MUST create (or get) a Picture Profile or Scene File with a Sony camera if you expect the camera to perform at its best. That’s the way Sony designs them, and it is the right way to do it.

All but 6-7 shots of this video were shot on that Saturday afternoon at various locations around Newport, Rhode Island.

I used a Novoflex E-Mount to Nikon adapter so that I could use my own Nikon lenses instead of the 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 lens that Sony sent with the camera. In my opinion, that lens is too slow for getting decent shallow depth-of-field . . . which is, after all, one of the main reasons for choosing a camera such as the NEX-FS100 that has a Super-35mm sensor.

The Nikon lenses I used were a 17-35mm f/2.8 and a 80-200mm f/2.8

Only the fishing boats and swan shots at 6:35 were taken with the stock 18-200mm lens.

All of the softball footage was shot through a chain-link fence in bright sun.

Because the camera does not have any built-in ND filters of it’s own, I used a $150 Genus Variable ND Polarizer filter to control the amount of light entering the lens. ALL shots, except for the indoor fruit basket were shot with the ND filter on the lens. I found that this filter actually allowed me much finer control over my exposure than of the camera had only a couple of built-in filters. What at first seemed like a big shortcoming of the camera, was quickly forgotten. I can use cheap step-down rings to use the same ND Polarizer on all of my lenses regardless of their native filter size.

No matte box was used.

All of the slow-motion shots were shot at 60fps at full 1920×1080 mode and recorded on the camera’s onboard SD card. Full 1920×1080 @ 60fps is a unique ability of this camera compared to other Sony camcorders.

All shots in the video were recorded to the onboard SD card at 24Mbps. I will post comparison footage that was recorded simultaneously with a NanoFlash at 100MBps when I have time.

Only three shots, which are identified with supers had any color grading or post-processing applied to them. Everything else is straight out of the camera.

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Is solid state all it’s cracked up to be ?

Categories: Miscellaneous 9 Comments

Here are two independent stories the only link is the cards they are using…

Vince using a Sony NX5… “Had A wee problem tonight while filming a local dance show. Using two NX5s to film,one on a wide shot plus one NX5 for close ups etc.

Without warning mid way through the first half, the close up Camera LCD screen went blank,a warning came up saying something about corupt media etc, then the camera shutdown by itself and then re-booted,another warning came up saying that recording or playback can not take place until the software has checked the card out for faults etc. I pressed enter to check the card for faults and within a few seconds was able to resume recording.

Unfortunately 20 odd minutes of footage was lost,7 dances to be exact,everything filmed up to the crash point was gone from the Transcend Card,the remaining dances up to the end of the first half were ok.Card was on its 3rd use with no problems before.

Fortunately the wide camera captured everything on a static wide shot so all is not lost but i must admit i am stuned to have lost the footage i did.Thank God it wasnt a wedding.
Have you heard anything like this from other camera operaters!!. This is the first time i have had any hicups with the NX5 using the Transcend Cards-Class 10, 16 GIG type.”

Today I get this Email…

Chris using a Sony MC50… “Had a major glitch last night while shooting a recce of “Bad Girls” for Saturday. Following your reports of problems with early shots, as at Jan’s party, I always shoot four short shots after formatting a memory card. They played back fine, as usual. Started recording the show and after about twenty minutes a data warning appeared on screen for a couple of seconds, then the whole camera shut down and restarted. I got going again and the problem did not recur, but ALL data recorded before the fault was missing – including those four test shots!

I managed to ingest the footage recorded after the fault and then decided to attempt a data recovery of the missing scenes by invoking the option to “Repair Image Database Files”. This reported no error, so I mounted the SD card on my Mac and used a utility to display hidden files…

You can see the clip info demonstrates that ten scenes were present – recorded AFTER the fault – but there are no .MTS files visible. Worse still, the footage no longer plays in the camcorder, yet the data is still there because the card registers as full.

I conclude the following, which, if you concur, you may wish to put out as a warning to other users:

1. If you encounter any recording fault, ingest all recorded footage prior to running any tests or search.
2. Unless ICONS are missing from your data display, do not run the ‘Repair Image Database’ utility.
3. Do not use a utility such as Cocktail in an attempt to retrieve lost data as this may further corrupt your files.

I still wonder whether this fault is memory card-related since the faults you experienced at Jan’s party and last night’s shoot were using the same (Transcend 16GB Class 10) card. I’ve not had any trouble with my other (Transcend 16GB Class 6) cards. That said, the suspect card was recently used to record a music concert and behaved perfectly. Have you ever had a problem recording to the internal memory?”

So you see these accounts are at least 3 months apart using different Sony camcorders the interesting factor that seems to run between them is the use of Transend Class 10 cards which would in my opinion be the number one suspect. To put it in perspective hundreds of people all over the world are using solid state day in day out with little to no problems. I myself on the whole use Transend SDHC class 10 cards and have also suffered lost footage twice but twice out of hours of successful filming with class 10 Transend SDHC cards leads me to one simple conclusion…

If you are filming an event like a wedding ceremony or a dance show where you are liable to have prolonged read/write sessions it would be prudent to use cards like SanDisk which are guaranteed to give you 30MB/s rather than depend on Transend cards that may be class 10 but only sustain 20MB/s and remember that speed is variable.

The one major problem with solid state is it’s unforgiving, if you are filming and for any reason the simplest being your battery runs out…you loose everything from the point you pressed the record button and that may be the whole of someones wedding ceremony and your reputation down the spout.

It is always advisable to loose 2-3 minutes of someones wedding in order to stop recording and power down your camcorder to change batteries than chance loosing everything and one other good bit of timley advice is do not span footage from one card to another, once again stop the recording and change card slots, spanning causes more misery than you can imagine.


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Paul Joy Filming for Harley-Davidson

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

Highlights from the 2011 Harley-Davidson Euro Festival in the Golfe De Saint-Tropez, France.

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