“Contract 736” was the name of the STV film about the QE2

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments


When the Cunard Steamship Company asked John Brown to build them a ship like the ‘Queen Mary’ and ‘Queen Elizabeth’, but light enough to sail in shallow waters, the job became known as Contract 736. This is the story of that ship, and the impact it had on the community where it was built before it was launched as the ‘Queen Elizabeth II’. I thought you might like to see the original film produced by Ted Williamson, the chap with the photographic camera.

crew tighter

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STV Reunion 2015

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

STV title fixed

The good old days when crews were 4 or more and cameras were 16mm film, this is STV covering the construction of the QE2. PS. Some cameramen who know this camera noticed that the picture had been flipped…just for them I have corrected it.

Last night was the reunion of STV employees from 1957-2006, I worked for STV over a 2 year period from 1999 to 2001 covering news and sport.

Allan Mc

A familiar face to HD Warrior was Allen McLaughlin who worked for STV for 6 years before moving onto BBC Scotland.

DermitDermit on stage

Then and now, anchorman Dermot McQuarrie who flew in from the USA to be at the reunion.


My good friend Eleanor and Teddy Winters, Eleanor was in charge of schedules.

Glen BW better Glen on stage

A face many children were happy to see on STV, Glen Michael who presented “The Glen Michael Cavalcade” show, showing cartoons like Casper the friendly ghost…yes I remember, I was one of those children !

Bryce Curdy

Bryce Curdy and his wife Margret, Bryce was one of STVs anchor men.

TaggertRobert Love

Robert Love who was the producer of one of the best dramas to come out of Scotland…Taggart.

Mike G v3

Mike Gower and Carol Biggin, Mike was initially a continuity announcer then a director and Carol was in charge of recording news from uplinks etc.

Fiona v3

My good friend Fiona Ross who was the chief political reporter for STV,we had some great laughs driving through to Edinburgh for the odd political report.

Wall of picsKim v3Studio cam

Chris and Jan

My ex boss Chris Attkins and his wife Jan was a senior cameraman at STV and has helped produce some reviews for HD Warrior.


The team who made it all happen, Jim Sheach, Cliff Martin, Mandy Barnes, Tony Currie and Ron Seeth.

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The Review of the Panasonic DVX-200

Categories: Miscellaneous 14 Comments

Review 200 title

One week later and the review is in the bag, I will give you my thoughts later this week about low light etc.

Allan,me, Scott

Allen one of my broadcast buddies is thinking of getting a Panasonic DVX-200.

Me filming

The PTC were done with my Panasonic FZ1000 and a Sony hybrid radio mic system.

Allen film good

Allen was very complimentary about the DVX-200 and especially liked the OLED viewfinder.

Int Allen v2

Scott filming me

Me Stuart


The crew picture with Scott, myself and Allen with Stuart taking the picture. Here is the 20m review I hope you like it…

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The News…Presented as it should be

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Live News

Producing live links for news inserts is fraught with danger, none more when you piss off the presenter.

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When 420 8bit becomes 444 10bit from Barry Green

Categories: Miscellaneous 7 Comments

420 to 444

I keep getting numpties telling me that 4K 4:2:0 8bit footage does not translate to 4:4:4 10bit on an HD timeline, don’t take my word for it lets hear from renowned expert Barry Green…


Barry “One excellent benefit of downconverting UHD/4K footage to 1080 HD in post is that you can realize an increase in proportional color resolution and a notable increase in bit depth. The AG-DVX200 records 4K or UHD footage at 8 bits per pixel and utilizes 4:2:0 color sampling. After downconversion, the resulting footage has 10 bits per pixel and 4:4:4 color sampling! Yes, you can convert 3840×2160 8-bit 4:2:0 recorded footage into 1920×1080 10-bit 4:4:4 footage in post.

To understand the color sampling advantage, you’d have to first understand that the camera re- cords its footage in 4:2:0 color sampling. That means (simply put) that there is one color sample for every 2×2 block of pixels. In any given 2×2 block of pixels there are four different “bright- ness” samples, but they all share one “color” sample. Effectively, within the 3840 x 2160 frame, there is a 1920 x 1080 matrix of color samples, one for every 2×2 block of pixels. During the downconversion to HD, each block of 2×2 brightness samples are converted into one HD pixel, creating a 1920 x 1080 matrix of brightness pixels. This 1920 x 1080 “brightness” (luminance) matrix can be effectively married to the originally-recorded 1920 x 1080 “color” matrix, result- ing in one individual and unique color sample for each and every brightness pixel. The result is 4:4:4 color sampling at high-definition resolution.

In terms of pixel depth, the original recorded footage is quantized and recorded at an 8-bit depth, providing for up to 256 shades per pixel. Other formats, like Panasonic’s own AVC-Intra, quantizes and records at a 10-bit depth, for up to 1,024 shades per pixel. Having deeper bit depth provides the ability for finer shading and more subtle transitions, especially apparent on smooth gradients (such as in a clear blue sky).


Generally 8-bit cameras perform fine for most images, but extensive image manipulation in post can reveal the limitations of 8-bit encoding and cause “banding” and “stair-stepping” from one shade to the next. 10-bit footage minimizes those effects because there are up to four shades for every one shade in 8-bit footage. When downconverting UHD/4K footage to 1080p HD, you also get the benefit of converting 8-bit pixel depth into 10-bit pixel depth! Since each 2×2 block of UHD/4K pixels will be summed to- gether to create a single 1×1 pixel in 1080p HD, the individual pixel values and gradations from the source footage can be retained in the downconverted footage.

Imagine a smooth gradient of medium gray, gradually getting brighter from left to right. In 8-bit pixel data, a medium gray might be represented by a pixel value of 128, and the next brighter shade might be 129. In 10-bit pixel data, that same medium gray (128) might be repre- sented by a pixel value of 512 (128 x 4) and that brighter shade (129) might be represented in 10- bit by a value of 516 (129 x 4). The obvious difference here is that an 8-bit camera can’t represent any difference between 128 and 129, but the 10-bit camera (looking at the exact same gradient) could represent a smoother transition between 512, to 513, 514, 515, and then eventually 516. Having 10 bits of data provides for the ability to retain and discern between finer shades of grey (or color). So what happens when we downcon- vert our 8-bit UHD footage to 10-bit 1080p HD footage? As each 2×2 block of pixels is summed together, those subtle differences in shade are retained, and we end up being able to represent shades that the 8-bit footage couldn’t have.”

HDW : Remember this only works as long as you setup a 10bit timeline.

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A Macro day with the Panasonic DVX-200

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

Macro shooting

There is a great macro zoom function on the Panasonic DVX-200 this is also helped by the superb 13x Leica 4K optical zoom lens  made specially for this camera.

4K Timeline dog copy

Double click to see this JPEG in full UHD 16:9. Shot with Scene file 5, at 0dB, UHD 50p. Note. Some of you will tell me 25p would be fine for a still picture like this but I prefer to get extra bonus of 150Mbps rather than 100Mbps (25p).

Dog WS stage

The single light source is from one Datavision LEDGO R332 LED ring light in front of the DVX-200 lens. I also tried out the interval timer record which works flawlessly.


A word of warning if you have a Panasonic PX-270 it comes with a VW-VBD58 battery pack which is the same battery that comes with the DVX-200. Some of you may also have the hahnel HL-D54 Lion battery used in the AC-90 and the PX270 but it won’t fit the DVX-200.

GX8 20MP

In the DVX-200 manual it tells us that FHD is 15.49 pixels leaving a further 4.51 MP margin confirming that the 200 is indeed sporting the Lumix GX8 sensor, this has been doubted by other readers. I only found this out today which is why I have also included this information in a previous “GX8 sensor” post.

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Sony PXW-FS5 Arriving at H Preston Media in November 2015 (£4899 incl vat body only)

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

H Preston

Arriving in November the NEW Sony PXW-FS5 (Body only) £4899 incl vat.

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Sony announce the new FS7 firmware V3

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

FS7 v3

Finally we are getting the 2K center scan function which crops a 2K image out of the middle of the sensor’s 4K frame doubling your lenses focal length without losing any stops of light or image quality when shooting in HD.

The 2K centre scan is like having a 2x extender as you will see no degradation in picture quality when you punch into the 2x mode. You still have far more scope filming in 4K as you can punch into the picture on an HD timeline but the 4K option gives you the added option to reframe after the event.

PXW-FS7 Firmware V3.0  (Upgrade is free of charge and available during 2015)

New Features & Improvements:

● Support for adjusting the Focus Magnification area position
● Support for “2K Full, “2K Center” setting in Imager Scan Mode
● Support for Interval Recording function
● Support for Noise Suppression setting in Cine EI mode
● Expand lowest value of Zebra level to 0%


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Panasonic DVX-200 Day ONE-4K 50p

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Title v2

Yesterday was my wife birthday so for obvious reasons I could not spend a lot of time with the Panasonic DVX-200.

I did allow myself about half an hour to do some preliminary filming in 4K 50p or UHD 16:9 using scene file 5.

Candy 4K 200 v3

Double click on the 4K frame above to get the true 3840 x 2160 and note how clean the frame is.

Leaf 4K copy

Double click on the 4K frame above to get the true 3840 x 2160.

4K 0 v 9 copy

Again double click to see the 4K frame above, left side is 0dB while the right side is 9dB.


The PDF of the user manual helps…The User Switch menu allows you to set the LCD/EVF to VF on…or EVF on…or Auto.

Final Cut Pro 2

All my footage from the DVX-200 ingested into FCPX with no problems. Same old story to get the best from your DVX-200 my tip is film in 4K and your 8bit 420 footage will downscale to 10bit 444 footage on an HD timeline getting the best of both worlds. Please remember this is “early day getting to know the camera footage” and will not be included in the final review.

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The Panasonic DVX-200 Arrives in Glasgow

Categories: Miscellaneous 17 Comments


Finally the production model arrives for review and the first thing I am looking at is noise. A few bloggers have noted the engineering sample was noisy in the blacks. The camera comes set to SCENE FILE 1 which is noisey but set it to SCENE FILE 5 and you are looking at a different camera.

This trick was noted with the Panasonic AF101 the default setting had noise while setting a scene file to CINE V made all the difference.

Camera DVX200

Still early days finding my way around but for the life of me I can’t find the eye sensor off switch that Luc told me had now been included via a user switch ?

We have one week to produce a full review of the DVX-200 so if you have any questions please post them and I will endeavour to answer you ASAP.

I will be trying out V-LOG during the review, Panasonic told me they have worked on the noise in the shadow detail seen by a few of us on the pre production model.

Update : Since choosing SCENE file 5 the daylight pictures are stunning far better than anything I saw at London, UHD 16:9 at 50fps on a 50″ Panasonic plasma are fantastic at 0dB. I will try and get you a few stills later today, these are just getting to know the camera shots nothing exiting.

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