Sony HXR-NX70 Full HD jpeg

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Click the picture above to see a full frame jpeg.


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CVP Hands on Event this Thursday and Friday

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Click on the following link to get more info…

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

Canon 5D mk11 plus “L” lenses for sale

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If you fancy a bargain send me an email to  NOTE : All prices are subject to postage and packing costs.



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

Now filming 1080 50p as from June 2011

Categories: Miscellaneous 6 Comments

I am just about to embark on a major new documentary about type one diabetes and will be re-evaluating my present Panasonic AF101 and kit lenses, so there may be some fantastic deals on the way especially the sale of my most coveted Nokton 25mm f0.95 mFT lens.

This will be the only Nokton lens for sale in the world till at least August so if you want a chance to own one I will be selling it for £700…(Update : Now sold), the highest bid will get to own a fantastic lens for shallow depth of field work using the micro four thirds mount.


Why am I switching cameras…I need two cameras and I am already buying the Sony NX70 which records 1080 50p which will give me the best possible quality in progressive mode and I also need a SDoF camera for interviews so it would seem stupid not to plum for the new Sony FS100 as the colour matrix of both Sony’s will match a lot better than mixing Panasonic and Sony.

The Sony FS100 also shoots 1080 50p matching the full HD progressive frame of the NX70.

Now here is the deal I cant part with any lenses or kit till my new cameras arrive…lenses I here you cry, yes I have also decided to part with my Canon 5D2 and all my Canon lenses I will give you an idea of type and price during the week.

So thats the plan for this year…moving up to 1080 50p with two matching cameras, I am just about to take possession of a Zacuto EVF Pro and will also be selling my Cineroid EVF now that cost me £570 new less than two months ago so if you want the chance to buy a mint Cineroid I will be selling mine for £350 when my Zacuto arrives.

You can drop me an email at if you are interested in any of the kit.   PS. My Nokton lens is going to a good home.

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

Premiere Pro CS5.5 now edits 1080 50p

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Finally Premiere Pro comes of age with CS5.5 and we now have an AVCHD preset for 1080 50p which is just on time for the new camcorder from Sony, the NX70 which has 1080 50p built in.

It only remains for us to see if Final Cut Pro 10 is equipped with the same preset though I have no doubts that it will have. The major fly in the ointment is the boxes that ingest and output video to my monitor the AJA io HD, as yet it has no preset for 1080 50p, I hope AJA address this otherwise I move over to Matrox.

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

BPV North 2011

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Broadcast Photo Video North, Haydock Park

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Fuji X100 “Flawed Autofocus” and that’s official

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One of the most respected photographic review web sites has just completed their full user review on the Fuji X100 and surprise, surprise come to the same conclusions as I first reported…

DPreview “Autofocus not quite as fast and accurate as the best mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras”

The camera also scored an overall poor 73% and could only attain their SILVER AWARD so maybe the numpties who hung me out to dry and had a bitching session, at my expense, on the DPreview boards can now apologise for what was a very accurate assessment of this flawed camera.

In fact this is one reply on their Fuji X100 forum that puts it in a nutshell…


  • The power of dpreview and its reviews
  • The dreadful mess that Fuji seem to have made of this camera’s firmware
  • The bad history Fuji have with firmware updates

Then I don’t think we need to worry about any post-nuclear-incident problems in Japan and possible consequent supply shortages, because this camera just isn’t going anywhere, fast. I would love to know how many orders have been cancelled today.

Build a Rolls-Royce and power it with a 150cc 2 stroke motorcycle engine….

The best bit about the Fiji X100 was the box it came in.

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

Sony HXR-NX70 camcorder “1st Play”

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While I was down at Haydock Park last week I had a play with the new Sony HXR NX70, this was a working model and not some trumped up plastic demo unit with no gubbins.

Sony let me film for about 45 minutes getting a few interviews and shots round the show so how did the new baby perform…

When I tried the camcorder side by side with my MC50 the first thing that struck me was the lack of light compared to the MC50, this was disappointing as I had been assured by Sony that it was using the same chipset as the MC50. I decided to dig deeper and discovered that the last person to play with the camcorder had set the shutter to 1/2000, so that was my discrepancy solved the shutter had been on with no indication in the viewfinder.

The first thing that strikes you is the new home screen I did not have time to photograph it so this is thanks to CVP who have also done a good review of the NX70. All the above are touch screen the same as the MC50 but with far more manual over rides, gain, shutter, iris to name a few. As a note the “Camera/Audio” icon is not as you first think a menu for the “Audio” it’s the main menu for the camera functions and the audio.

This camcorder is just bristling with features the main one being it’s ability to produce 1080 50p pictures…unheard of from such a small professional camcorder until now, with Sony Vegas 10, Edius 6 from Grass Valley and the new Final Cut Pro 10 you can now edit the “holy grail” of  1920 x 1080 Full HD 50p.

I decided to let the 1080 50p pass by me till I get my hands on my own NX70 but from all accounts it’s a further step up the HD ladder that will be hard to climb down from and will even give dearer camcorders a run for their money but time will tell.

The camera is bigger than the MC50, thank goodness, but it’s still small enough to give you that ease of use of a hand held but with all the big Pro features and more. There is no slacking in the audio department with phantom powered XLR inputs and gain pots, you also get audio level indicators on the viewfinder…fantastic.

The SD card slot is easily accessible and the camcorder comes with a built in 96GB of memory which can record simultaneously with the SDHC card giving you a nice back up feature.

The camera performed flawlessly and it was great to be able to set your gain to 0dB giving you a very punchy picture indeed. I am a big audio buff and having balanced XLR inputs is a joy, I will be doing a full video review when I get my own NX70 possibly by the end of May but this wee camera will find it’s way into some big HD productions. From weddings to broadcast there is no doubt in my mind that Sony have produced a cracking jewel in their crown and I hope Japan can keep up with the world wide demand on such a perfect wee camcorder.

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

Cleaning the sensor of an interchangeable lens camcorder

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As typical of manufacturers it’s all about selling the product with little to no help when it comes to looking after and maintaining your new large sensor camcorder.

I received an email from a chap in Australia telling me that he had just purchased a PMW-F3 plus lens kit but the only problems seemed to be dust getting onto the sensor and asked me for any advice.

I am not a fan of sending anything back to any manufacturer at the best of times and searching the internet this evening was horrified to discover that most video retailers are telling us to send your camera to a recognised dealer in order to remove dust from the sensor.

Totally impracticable, no one in their right mind is going to be in a position to send back their camcorder to an approved source in order for them to clean the sensor, if you are on the second last day of an important shoot in the middle of a rain forrest for example.

My strong advice is to minimise contamination by using a lint free changing bag the same bag you would use for a DSLR. B&H have a bag with dimensions 64 x 56 x 38cm which would be big enough to allow you to stick an F3, AF101 or an FS100 into the front end keeping dust and contaminates away from your sensor.

It seems to me that there is a market for a clear changing bag, one that lets you see the camera while you are changing the lens.

If all else fails you need to kit yourself out with a sensor brush and a foot operated foot pump…

1. Blow the dust off the filter.
It’s never a good idea to come in physical contact with the low pass filter and sensor as these components are very fragile and can be easily scratched. A scratch will refract the light coming through and any picture you take will be ruined. Thus the first cleaning step is to blow off the dust from the filter. If the sensor isn’t too dirty, this will be the only step you need to take. Some veteran photographers and manufacturers recommend using a foot operated air pump (the kind used to fill inflatable kiddy pools) as this will leave both your hands free. It’s important that you blow only small amounts of air into the filter’s surface. This will usually be enough to blow away large loose dust particles. If you’re using a blower with a nozzle, make sure the nozzle doesn’t come in contact with the filter. The weakness of this method is that dust that’s been stuck on the filter through moisture won’t be removed.

2. Brush the dust off the filter.
If after blowing, dust still remains on the low pass filter, you will need to escalate your cleaning to utilization of a brush. The brush referred to isn’t just any generic one that can be bought from an art or hardware supply store. Camera cleaning kits come with sensor cleaning brushes whose bristles are specially designed to become electrostatic and attract stuck dust particles. They are also non-abrasive enough to touch the filter’s surface. To charge the brush, you will need to blow at it (use the air pump). Afterwards run the brush lightly on the filter in one stroke and in one direction. Blow on the brush again after a swipe to remove any collected dust.

The above advice is from One Slide Photography

Lastly the new Sony FS100 seen above will be far more prone to dust as the sensor apart from being Super 35mm is fairly close to the front of the camera itself. There is no easy way to keep all dust out of your camera but some good house rules are as follows…

1. Do not change your lens outside in the open air if possible.

2. Keep the lens change to a minimum, have the second lens in your other hand ready to pop on.

3. Keep a lint free changing bag at the ready on the occasion that a change is needed in a dusty environment, plastic bags are full of static charge and may attract dust.

4. Never use chemicals or use compressed air in a can as this will leave a residue on your sensor.

5. Do not try to clean your sensor outdoors, inside a car is better but remember it won’t be dust free.

I am sailing against the wind with this article but manufacturers have no one to blame but themselves, it is totally impractical for anyone to expect to send their camera back to an approved reseller every-time your camera gets a bit of dust on the sensor.

If you are in the position of having to get rid of dust from your sensor the top tip is to be extremely careful and never let anything touch the sensor itself as a scratch could be more harmful than the dust you were planning to get rid of.


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

BPV Show 2011 and the Sony NX70 show stopper !

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The camera that stole the show this year at BPV 2011 was the Sony NX70. Everyone was asking Sony questions about the NX70 and admiring it’s very practicable size.

Sony are onto another winner with this camcorder not forgetting it’s ability to shoot 1080 50p, I deliberately did not film in 1080 50p today simply because I want to savour this moment when we get the first NX70s some time during early June.

The boys from H Preston Media, Andy Guest (left) and Andy Davis (right) and a few others had a great night out at a local Indian restaurant called the “Palace” situated in St Helens and comes well recommended, my thanks to Dave from DSM who treated us to the meal.

As usual Alister Chapman drew great crowds eagerly listening to his every word during his very popular talk about large sensor camcorders, especially the Sony PMW-F3. The show was a good success on the whole, there were not giant crowds but the exhibitors seemed to be happy with the response and the overall buying power of the customers who came to the show in fact bodies through the door was up on last year.

Sony also had many people looking at the FS100 and we also tried the Nikon to E mount with a 50mm f1.4 lens on the camera in fact one of the most amazing facts came the night before when Alister Chapman told me that he had conducted a lens test on his Sony F3 comparing the Zeiss CP2 against the Nikon 50mm f1.8mm and he could not see any discernible difference in quality between the two lenses which is £2500 Zeiss against a £150 Nikon prime lens.

To qualify this there are major advantages by using the CP2 lens for follow focus as they tend to be all the same diameter and have better arranged teeth for pull focus units that the Nikon can’t compete with but it clarifies a niggle that I have banged on about for a while now that major glass manufacturers like Nikon have indeed caught up, optically, with the likes of Zeiss and if you do not intend to use a follow focus system prime Nikon glass on a large sensor camera will indeed cut the mustard.

I am producing a video of the show which will be uploaded next week and I also shot footage with the NX70 and having the ability to set your sound levels, see them on your viewfinder, set 0dB, shutter to OFF and manual iris made the NX70 a joy to use and I can’t wait till I get my hands on one.

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

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