Doug Jensen’s Vimeo Master Class Sony…PXW-FS7 $85 (£56) Vimeo on-demand

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If you own a Sony PXW-FS7 you can’t afford not to buy this Vimeo purchase on demand on-line instruction video. With over 26 chapters, 6 hours of content this is a must for anyone who wants to master their Sony PXW-FS7.

Video on-demand (VOD) allows you to watch this video for 6 months, I would prefer a longer period plus if Doug releases this on DVD I do hope VOD users will get a good discount off the DVD.

This master class is a completely independent production with no sponsorship, input, or approval from Sony. It delivers unbiased information and professional advice that can’t be found from any other source.

UPDATE : Doug is a great teacher and after buying my own copy I have already gleamed about 5 tips that now make a lot more sense to me and have changed settings that I would have otherwise ignored…brilliant.

Doug Jensen’s Sony PXW-FS7 Master Class – Trailer from Doug Jensen on Vimeo.

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

First samples from the new Canon 5Ds…stunning

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As I suspected Canon are moving back to a more photographic spec. camera, as this camera has less video features which in my opinion is a good thing.

Shooting Mode : Manual exposure
Tv (Shutter Speed): 1/125 sec
Av (Aperture Value): f/8.0
ISO Speed: ISO100
Lens: EF70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM
White Balance: Color temp.(5200K)
Picture Style: Fine Detail

ISO speed is based on recommended exposure index.


The quality of this picture is simply stunning and the detail at 100%, interesting to see how the medium format cameras respond to this 50 mega pixel upgrade.

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

Some great technical info over at on the Sony PXW-FS7

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Alister is one of the top Sony ICE (Independent Certified Experts) on anything XDCAM, this includes the new PXW-FS7 camcorder. Click on the image above to see his technical papers on the FS7.

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

Ikegami HDK-97ARRI cameras used to capture PUR & Friends Mega Concert

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Ikegami are still going strong I am glad to report, the ARRI influence is obvious and I think it looks cool, love the blue highlights, but ARRI have also developed the Super 35mm front end which must give this camera some wonderful footage.

Ikegami HDK-97ARRI cameras capture the action at PUR & Friends Mega Concert

Neuss, Germany, February 5, 2015:  TV Skyline, one of Europe’s largest and most successful mobile television production companies, chose Ikegami HDK-97ARRI cameras to broadcast the recent PUR & Friends 2014 annual concert from the massive Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen. Working in partnership with Neoxfilm, TV Skyline captured the performance for transmission by executive producer, Sky Germany.

David Kirk “The HDK-97ARRI is based on the Ikegami HDK-97A docking camera head and incorporates extra features developed for digital film-making. These include a larger Super 35 sensor which delivers cinematic depth of field, clean highlights, extremely low noise and very natural skin tones. The HDK-97ARRI is fully compatible with our HDK-97A infrastructure, using the same base station, CCU and cable interfaces, so everything connected together very easily.

“Intercutting between the HDK-97A and HDK-97ARRI cameras in our coverage of the PUR & Friends concert allowed us to combine the realism and immediacy of a high quality outside broadcast with the extra impact associated with digital cinematography.

“Particularly impressive was the HDK-97ARRI’s dynamic and low-noise rendering of the performers’s high-contrast clothing, from dark areas of clothing through to very vibrant highlights. The client producer was also delighted so we have high hopes of winning the contract to televise PUR’s 30th anniversary concert this year.”

“Selecting Ikegami’s HDK-97ARRI Super 35 cameras was a key element of the creative realisation,” adds Neoxfilm’s Creative Director Marc Schütrumpf. “We relied on early planning and arrangements, choosing the right lenses and optimal camera positions. By maintaining a constant lens aperture, the depth of field could be permanently kept shallow. By using the optimum focal lengths, we were able to generate a cinematic look that brought the PUR concert at its most impressive into every viewer’s home.”

Jointly developed by Ikegami and ARRI, the HDK-97ARRI is a broadcast-style production camera with digital cinema characteristics enabling a large format sensor to be deployed in multiple camera operation. Centered around ARRI’s Super 35 CMOS sensor and its associated support circuitry, the system provides cinematic qualities including natural colour rendering, exceptional dynamic range and progressive frame rates such as 23.98p. Broadcast-grade distribution can be performed using the latest Ikegami technology, via fibre transmission using up to 2 kilometres of SMPTE hybrid fibre and cable.

The ARRI large-format front end is famed for its film-like organic look, characterised by extended, clean highlights, an extremely low noise floor, natural skin tones, excellent colour separation and a cinematic depth-of-field. Employing large pixels and a custom-designed read-out architecture, it delivers exceptionally wide dynamic range. ARRI’s stainless steel lens mount system ensures super stable flange focal depth between lens and sensor.

The HDK-97ARRI is housed in a docking style camera head from Ikegami’s successful Unicam HD camera series. Powered by Ikegami’s latest 3G FPGA-based DSP, the camera provides complete real time control of all grey-scale, colour, and detail functions. A new 3G transmission system transports video from camera head to CCU, as well as 3G transmission from CCU to camera head. The camera head supports return video in HD, two channels of prompter video in SD, and (when using the CCU-970M) one channel of prompter video in HD. Other signals transported via the camera cable include two channels of intercom, two channels of programme audio, two channels of microphone audio, genlock phase control, camera control, and external auxiliary data. Ikegami’s powerful 200-series remote control system enables video operators to manage multiple cameras using OCP, MCP, and network hubs.


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

Nebula 4000 3 Axis Digital Gyroscope Stabiliser…£495 plus vat Production Gear

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What a fantastic tool, I have seen some amazing footage taken with this hand held stabiliser but a word of caution…its not an out of the box and it starts working tool. There is a lot of setting up in my opinion but once you hit that sweet spot of balance, you can create some special looking footage.


I have got the Nebula 4000 for a couple of weeks from Production Gear and it takes some getting used to, so don’t expect to see my review any time soon.

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

A re-think on my earlier post – Sony FS7 remote arm reversal.

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It takes a manufacturer to charge £56 plus vat for what I thought was a bolt to re-think my earlier design, as it turned out the £56 included the pan handle star bush which I didn’t need.

Here is the re-devised design which is altogether a lot more simple and does not involve any drilling.


Firstly you must move the tripod balancing plate tightening screw out of the way, (fig 1) this can be done with a smaller Philips screw driver as shown above.

Secondly reverse the pan handle (fig 2) as shown.

Lastly there are 2 small bolts on the back of the Sony remote (fig 3) un-tighten them and slide out as far as it goes, re-tighten. Then rest the Sony remote on top of the Miller assembly as shown.


This version is far simpler and works a treat giving you your robust pan handle and the remote hand grip for start/stop, servo zoom and menu options.

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

Crop Factor on the Sony FS7 is 1.5x

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I can now confirm that the Sony FS7 with 4K Super 35mm sensor using the Sony FE 24-70mm f4 ZA OSS Carl Zeiss lens does indeed have a 1.5 crop factor. I also now have the cracking 10-18mm f4 wide zoom which has an effective field of view of 15 – 27mm very useful indeed. Sony have E mount and FE mount lenses, very confusing. FE indicates Full Frame E mount lenses for the Sony A7s etc. but the FS7 uses a Super 35mm sensor which allows you to use FE or E mount without vignetting. This is especially useful for a larger choice of lenses.

The 24-70mm is a full frame lens but on the FS7 with a 1.5x crop the lens is equivalent to a 36-113mm.


Still no sign of my servo zoom but a reader has posed the question about the wide side of this lens…will it be wide enough. The Super 35mm sensor will always cause a 1.5x crop no matter what lens you use. The 28-135 with a 1.5x crop will be the equivalent of a 42-203mm lens. Having the 10-18mm lens (15-27mm 1.5x crop) gives me a two lens camera bag. The Sony FE 24-70 f4 lens is my standard zoom for my Sony A7s.

In the earlier days of my photographic career I was more than happy with a standard lens (50mm) it was usually the sharpest lens you could buy and wide lenses were not as sharp back then. Today wide lenses have improved enormously, especially wide zooms.


My Sony 10-18mm f4 lens is just the job for getting dramatic landscapes and interior shots. The quality of the optics are superb and having a constant aperture is a major bonus.


Back to the question can I live with a servo zoom at an angle of view of 42mm at the wide end, no problem, 30mm would have been better but to be honest I have a 10-18mm lens in my bag and you don’t need a wide servo zoom lens so as far as my filming is concerned I am covered.

If I get any further lens it might be the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 FE lens due late March which would cover any lower light filming and interviews.

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

Radical Video Slider from AMC PHOTOVIDEO £349

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I was during August 2014 that Zhac and his son James came to Glasgow to show me the new slider from AMC PHOTOVIDEO who are based in Lancashire. This was a per production model.


We took the AMC slider to one of our local parks in Glasgow to photograph and produce a small 38s video. Unfortunately the tripod head that’s holding the slider (Manfrotto 504HD) had developed a fault and would not lock down completely but on the final shots when James is sat down on the bench we managed to reposition the slider taking a fair bit of strain off the head giving us far better smoother shots.


The slider’s carriage uses 6 steel wheels and works a treat, we used the Panasonic GH4 with a 12-35 f2.8 lens.


Young James a keen photographer himself loved playing with the slider, there are 2 Adjustable Locking Points for Start to End Shooting, acts as transportation lock.


The Radical Video Slider Track is designed to produce smooth sliding video images. An aluminium profile measuring 80mm wide ensures camera stability when using Professional Video Cameras with Prime Lenses and HDSLR Systems. Slider blocks are included to fix the the end of the slider to 2 studio stands or slide one of the blocks to the middle and fix it to your tripod. Includes start to end adjustable shooting points which can also lock the Camera platform when not in use.


Have a look at the AMC website

Here is a 38s video we shot at the park.

Radical Video Slider from Philip Johnston on Vimeo.

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

MID WEEK SPECIALS from Production Gear

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

Canon 5Ds now sporting 50MP sensor but no headphone socket !

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We are now up to 50MP when this Canon 5Ds appears in the shops, quite stunning, video specs are 1080 30p (25p)  nothing to set the heather alight. I hope Canon are finally getting back to making good photographic tools, as there are far too many large sensor video cameras around now.

There is no headphone socket in either model so is totally useless for serious video work…mind you it does sport time-lapse (TL) which is still the preferred tool for TL work.

There are two models the 5Ds and the 5Ds R, same old trick as with Nikon, the 5Ds R is better for photographic use.

  • 50.6mp full frame CMOS
  • 53mp total resolution
  • 5DS R has no low pass filter
  • AF 61 points (41 points cross type)
  • ISO 100-6400 (extended with ISO50 and 12800)
  • Dual DIGIC 6
  • 3.2 inch LCD 1.04 million pixels
  • RAW (50MP), M-RAW (28MP), S-RAW (12.4MP)
  • CF (UDMA7), SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I)
  • Crop modes 1.3x and 1.6x
  • 100% field of view
  • Magnification 0.71 times, the eye point 21 mm
  • Electronic Level
  • Grid display
  • EV-2 support.
  • Itr AF
  • Anti-flicker
  • Time-lapse movie
  • Bulb timer
  • Face recognition during live view
  • 150,000 pixel RGB-TR metering sensor
  • 252 zone TTL metering
  • EOS iSA system
  • Shutter speed is 30 seconds -1/8000 seconds
  • Synchro is 1/200 sec
  • Continuous shooting 5 frames / sec
  • Video 1920×1080 30fps (ALL-I or IPB)
  • Mini HDMI output terminal
  • External microphone terminal
  • Battery LP-E6N / LP-E6


This is why we are getting a £4760 drop in the price of the Canon 1Dc to £7240, though its still far too dear in my opinion.

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