The Premiere of Uncowed at Corrie village hall in 4K thanks to JVC

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Finally this weekend we will get to see the one hour comedy called Uncowed filmed during July 2018. I had been asked to produce a behind the scenes documentary for Chris and his production team.

As you would expect on a picturesque island like Arran the local village hall was to be the venue for the red carpet night.

A big thanks to JVC for lending the production a 4K video projector to show the film on called a DLA-RS540. This is a high performance, fully-customisable home theatre projector that produces exquisite quality images with class leading 130,000:1 native contrast ratio. This THX 3D and ISF certified projector accepts native 4K 60P (4:4:4) material through full speed 18Gbps HDMI/HDCP 2.2 compatible inputs and displays it with stunning 4K e-shift 5 3840 x 2160 precision.

The screen reproduction in 4K was fantastic thanks to JVC and better still the one hour comedy went down a storm with the audience.

No red carpet evening is complete without the guests arriving and being interviewed, Lewis the young star of Uncowed being interviewed by Frank.

The 76 member audience were enthralled with the film.

Cast and crew picture. Right to left, Jan, Chris, Philip, Frank, Graeme and Richard all of us worked for Chris and Jan 30 years ago.

And now for my contribution to the evening the documentary of Uncowed…

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

New GH5, GH5S and G9 firmware now available

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Panasonic issued new firmware updates for its popular GH5, GH5s and G9 cameras today. The updates are supposed to fix some minor issues in the current firmware and improve the autofocus performance on all three cameras, which have been criticized for their AF performance being somewhat behind on the competition. Panasonic has been eagerly pushing firmware updates to the cameras since their release, this marking the sixth version of the GH5’s firmware.

Updates to the GH5 (firmware 2.4)

  • Improvement of tracking performance and minimizing of backfocusing in continuous AF mode with 225 AF points
  • Fix of a One-Push-AE bug in Creative M mode, when SS/Gain-Operation is set to Angle/ISO
  • Fix of bug that sometimes caused timecode to be reset upon battery change
  • Fix of a bug that caused showing all footage, instead of just the intended frame in 6k/4k Photo mode

Updates to the GH5S (firmware 1.2):

  • Improvement of tracking performance and minimizing of backfocusing in continuous AF mode with 225 AF points
  • Fix of a bug that caused the camera to not react appropriately to brightness changes under fluorescent light
  • Fix of a One-Push-AE bug in Creative M mode, when SS/Gain-Operation is set to Angle/ISO
  • Improvement of image quality when using V-Log for VFR recording in Creative Mode
  • Improvement of image quality when using the Intelligent Dynamic Range Controlfeature

Updates to the G9 (firmware 1.2):

  • Improvement of tracking performance and minimizing of backfocusing in continuous AF mode with 225 AF points
  • Fix of a bug that caused the camera to not react appropriately to brightness changes under fluorescent light

GH5 firmware 2.4

GH5S firmware 1.2

G9 firmware 1.2

 

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

A Warning about Kickstarter campaign’s

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I was taken in by the Lilly Kickstarter campaign where you got a drone for about £300 and to this day nothing ever appeared. Luckily I got a heads up from the campaign that things were badly delayed and would I like a refund. I got my refund but was very lucky and this gave me an insight not to enter these campaigns ever again.

In August Net SE, the company behind Meyer Optik Görlitz, Emil Busch, C.P. Goerz, Ihagee, Oprema Jena, and A. Schacht products, was removed from the German stock exchange and subsequently filed for insolvency.

Now, the fears of Kickstarter backers of the Meyer Optik Görlitz products who have not received their lenses yet have turned into a reality: The reward will not arrive and you won’t get your money back either. Net SE is completely dead. This was first reported by German photo publication Photoscala after an official notice was published, asking to direct claims to a law firm.

Insolvency proceedings have been opened which means all hopes for backers to receive rewards or their money back have evaporated. Net SE’s lack of assets means nothing can be expected from the company and Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms reject all responsibility in such cases.

This isn’t the first crowdfunding project ending up in a mess but given we are dealing with several campaigns here the number of affected photographers is likely higher than usual. It’s a reminder that backing a crowdfunding project isn’t the same thing as pre-ordering and there’s always some risk of losing your money.

My thanks to DPREVIEW for this.

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

Drone simulated hitting an aircraft wing at 238

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University of Dayton Research Institute impact tests prove large aircraft won’t always win in collision with small drones.

When a large military helicopter collided midair with a small quadcopter last year, the helicopter sustained only minor damage and returned safely home; the drone was destroyed. But tests performed at the University of Dayton Research Institute show that bigger may not always be better in contests between manned aircraft and even small UAVs.

In a test designed to mimic a midair collision at 238 miles per hour, researchers in UDRI’s Impact Physics group launched a 2.1-pound DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter at the wing of a Mooney M20 aircraft. The drone did not shatter on impact, but tore open the leading edge of the wing as it bore into the structure, damaging its main spar. “While the quadcopter broke apart, its energy and mass hung together to create significant damage to the wing,” said Kevin Poormon, group leader for impact physics at UDRI.

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

GoPro Hero 7 Black “The honest opinion…MAJOR PROBLEMS”

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My first impressions of the Hero 7 are as follows…

To get the firmware into the Hero 7 you firstly need to charge the battery in the camera, not something I recommend. I never charge any batteries in any cameras and the Hero 7 is no exception, it gets physically hot as does the battery so I opted for GoPro’s own dual charger as it comes with a spare battery.

Talking of batteries I find them surprisingly big for the intended slot, if that plastic tab breaks you will not be able to remove the battery, this was a shocking find as the batteries for the Hero 4 were fine, the tolerances are far too tight.

My firmware update would not apply for the first hour of having the 7, causing me a lot of anguish then I remembered you can apply the software manually via the micro SD card.

I tried this after resetting the camera back to default once again but still no joy.

Finally via my iPhone Ten I got the firmware 01.51 to go into the Go Pro but not a smooth as process as I was expecting.

To setup the Go Pro with the iPhone on the other hand was a lot less clunky than I experienced in the past with my Go Pro 4.

Strangely for all the extra processing power you still get a blank screen on the iPhone when you hit the record button something that really annoyed me in the past, the only consolation is that you now get a live feed on the small screen that comes with the Hero 7, possibly something to do with Protune being switched on.

The Hero 7 keeps freezing so I am sending it back, meanwhile I will show you a video from a chap in the states who has had all the same problems as me.

Sadly the footage out of the Hero 7 Black at 4K 50p were the best I have seen from any GoPro but the software bugs outweigh the joy of using it.

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

Scrolling Slideshow from $39 introductory offer (Till October 12th)

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There’s always a question on blogs, Facebook or Twitter on how to make a series of stills look good. This new FCPX set of plugins from Idustrial Revolution enables the building of a stylish scrolling display of stills or video.

Ken Burns style moves on images look good, but what about making a slideshow look even better. Idustrial Revolution has just released XEffects Scrolling Slideshow, a pack of effects, titles and transitions that combine to make a stylish self animating display.

The plugins, normally priced at $49 are on sale at $39 until October 12th 2018.

Rather than this design being offered as a Motion project, the different elements have been broken down into FCPX effects, titles and transitions.

The plugins have been designed so that the moves for the images and text match. Positive numbers in the inspector controls for up, negative for down.

This means that everything is ‘live’ on the timeline so it can all be tweaked instantly for timing or that final change to get the look right.

It also means that clumsy Drop Zones are avoided, so it is easier to incorporate footage and that retains its audio as well.

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

BT or Virgin…Who do you choose for your fast fibre broadband ?

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Just passing on my findings after giving up BT Superfast Fibre 2 and was horrified to discover all is not so rosey at Virgin Media.

Virgin Fibre…Great download speed of 200 Mbps but a poor upload of 12 Mbps, its only when you get the 350Mbps fast fibre that you get 20Mbps upload speed, but not many places can get 350 Mbps at the moment.

When I was with BT Superfast fibre my download speeds were 67 Mbps and upload speeds of 18.7 Mbps.

I contacted Virgin to ask why my upload speed was capped at 12 Mbps and was told I should have 20 Mbps, not true.

Looking at their web site its 12 Mbps for the 200 Mbps package.

You get the advert on the telly that its fibre to your front door, bollocks, its fibre to the box at the end of your street called the cabinet, followed by a bog standard RG59 cable with a copper core the front of your house and round your property into the living room.

The sales team tell you that BT is only copper so it can’t reach fast speeds of 200 Mbps which is true but its a major kick in the balls when you discover that BT without boasting about it is in fact faster at uploading without paying a hefty premium for it.

The facts…

BT has faster upload speeds 18.7 Mbps on Superfast Fibre 2 but on an 18 months contract.

Virgin has a faster download speeds of 200 Mbps with a 12 months contract.

Strangely Virgins most popular package is the 100 Mbps with an upload speed of 6 Mbps and I think Virgin should at least keep up with the competition and boost upload speeds to equal BT.

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

New firmware for the GH5, GH5S and G9 (End of October 2018)

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Panasonic has announced that they will release a major firmware update for its GH5, GH5s and G9 Micro Four Thirds cameras. The release date of the firmware updates scheduled  for October 2018.

All three cameras will benefit from the first improvement which is about the AF performance. This is about the cameras tracking performance in continuous AF and it will be improved by optimising the tracking algorithm.

Improvement of AF performance: GH5S, GH5, G9

  1. There were cases where focus point was shifted to the background while tracking the subject in AFC mode. The new firmware minimises this problem.
  2. Tracking performance in continuous AF has been improved by optimising the tracking algorithm.
  3. The subject is tracked even if it moves actively, such as in sports scenes where the focus previously shifted to the background.
  4. There were cases where focus point was shifted to the background while tracking the subject in video recording. The new firmware minimises this problem.
  5. The accuracy of detecting the subject has been improved by optimising the focus area settings and tracking speed. The point of focus remains on the subject instead of shifting to the background.

Improvement of stability during HDMI output: GH5S

  1. Operating stability during VFR (Variable Frame Rate) recording through HDMI output has been improved.

Improvement of video recording performance: GH5S, GH5

  1. [One Push AE] failed to operate when [SS/Gain Operation] is set to [ANGLE/ISO] while shooting in Creative Video M mode. This bug has been fixed.
  2. The image quality when using [V-LogL] for VFR recording in Creative Video mode has been improved.
  3. The image quality when set to [i.Dynamic (Intelligent Dynamic Range Control)] has been improved.

Improvement of operation under specific lighting conditions (fluorescent lights, etc) GH5S, G9

  1. There were cases where the camera did not catch up to the brightness change smoothly under specific lighting conditions such as fluorescent lights. The new firmware minimises this problem.

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

NEW…Panasonic S1R Full Frame mirrorless camera

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There are 2 models to choose from the S1R and the S1.

Panasonic has announced the development of two Mirrorless camera models with a 35 mm full-frame image sensor: the S1R and the S1. Equipped with the world’s first*1 4K 60p/50p video recording function and a Dual I.S. image stabilisation system, these cameras form the new LUMIX S Series due for global release in early 2019.

Panasonic will also expand its line-up of LUMIX S Series compatible lenses, developing more than ten by 2020, including a 50mm/F1.4 prime lens, 24-105mm standard zoom lens, and 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens.

The key features of the newly developed S1R and S1 cameras are as follows:

1. Newly-developed 35 mm full-frame image sensor and image processing engine (Effective pixels: approximately 47M for the S1R and 24M for the S1)

2. World’s first*1 support for 4K 60p/50p video recording in a full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera

3. World’s first*1 full- frame camera equipped with Dual I.S. image stabilisation enabling handheld shots for dark or distant scenes that would previously have required additional equipment

4. A double slot for XQD memory cards and SD memory cards: a first for Panasonic

5. A rugged triaxial tilt LCD: emphasising ease of use and supporting professional photography and videography

6. Utilising Leica Camera’s L-Mount, making it possible to use alternative lenses that meet the L-Mount specifications of partners*4 Leica Camera and Sigma, increasing options for alternative lenses

Designed to incorporate an entire array of Panasonic technology refined over a century in the consumer electronics business and ten years developing Mirrorless cameras, the new S1R and S1 models will retain essential user-friendliness and robustness as tools for photography or videography by professionals.

For the existing LUMIX G series of Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless cameras, Panasonic will begin developing a Leica DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25mm F1.7 lens that will achieve the world’s first*5 zoom with a constant aperture value of F1.7. In addition, support services for professional photographers and videographers will be available in selected European markets and the United States this year.

The GH5, G9, and GH5s high-end Mirrorless cameras that Panasonic has released since 2017 have already gained a solid reputation among professionals and high-level amateurs across the world for the quality of their pictures and ability to capture the vitality and beauty of life. This success is thanks to Panasonic’s world’s-first*6 support for 4K 60p/50p video recording, and the world’s fastest autofocus*7 function using the company’s proprietary DFD technology.

Panasonic will continue to reach the professional market through the introduction of the full-frame LUMIX S series and the greater reach of its support system, as well as continuing to support the Lumix G Micro Four Thirds System.

The products in development in this release will be exhibited at Photokina 2018*8.

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

Part Three…Using a SmallRig L-Bracket

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In the last part of how to mount your accessories we take a look at the neatest L-Bracket from SmallRig.

Firstly I am not into cages nor lots of metalwork hindering the usability of a great small camera system.

Adding the cold shoe to the slide out (28mm) arm (Only useful for LED lights with a ball socket as shown below).

This is probably the best of both worlds allowing the RODE receiver to be anchored onto the GH5 hot shoe and the APUTURE AL-MX LED light onto the slide out arm. Note the Aputure L-Bracket does not allow the LCD to swivel 90 degrees on its axis.

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