Sennheiser giving RODE a run for their money £289

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Not to be out done Sennheiser have arrived with a neat radio mic system called the XSW-D system.

Got to admit when I first this new system I was completely confused, but makes a lot of sense when you look into it with a bit more depth thanks to You Tube videos.


The one downside of the RODE system in my books is the size of the transmitter its huge compared to any other system on the market today. I think Sennheiser have addressed this with the new easy to setup system.

My only reservation is Sennheiser’s insistence on calling it an entry level system this will stop a lot of pro users buying this kit.

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

10 Years blogging HD Warrior

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Wow 10 years already so what’s changed over the last 10 years blogging.

In my first month’s post I was telling the world that a 64G P2 card was £1708 and consisted of four 16G SD cards, so why were they so expensive ?

It was all about HD 1920 x 1080 in those far flung days 4K was only a pipe dream. Today I only edit in 4K 50p with 8K on the horizon.

My very first video review was for the JVC HM700 HD camcorder

The video review was recorded with a Sony PMW-EX3, a very good HD camcorder apart from the IR filter which had a tendency to record blacks with a brown cast. You can actually see this in the review on my black/brown vest.

The exception to 4K 50p is my latest acquisition, my DJI Mavic 2 which only records at 4K 25p, so I choose to film at 2.7K 50p at 100Mbps. I do know that the Mavic 3 will have 4K 50p but I didn’t want to wait until DJI announce the Mavic 3. Let’s also hope the Mavic 3 will allow a bigger photograph than 72dpi.

On the 7th of March 2016 I wrote one of my hardest blog postings.

This is me at the Victory Services Club in the heart of London just after BVE 2016, since my trip to BVE.

I have suffered a small stroke so have to take things a lot slower even blogging. My speech is affected as is my balance but I have been lucky, so no reviews for a while and no late night blogging. I am so sorry to my regulars  who like their daily dose of HD Warrior. This has had a major impact of my business as I still suffer very bad fatigue in the afternoons, this was one side effect that my neurologist told me would not go away.

My thanks to all my family for keeping me sane over the last 3 years with all their love and a special mention to Scott for keeping me occupied filming his blog productions for The Footly Blog.


To keep myself sane I started to produce a You Tube program called One Roving Cook which also kept me up to speed with my new 4K Panasonic GH5 cameras. This kept me going until I ran out of family members willing to take part and recipes.

Chris Attkins and me at the Scottish TV reunion

During the wonderful summer of 2018 my ex-boss Chris Attkins asked me if I was up for a behind the scenes documentary about the film he was producing called Uncowed. To be filmed entirely on the wonderful Scottish island of Arran.

I jumped at the chance and it was a wonderful two weeks working again with all my friends and colleagues from 20 years ago at Flashback Video. I am very proud of the end result so here it is again in case you missed it first time round.

My behind the scenes documentary about the filming of Uncowed

I cannot go without thanking some of my site sponsors both past and present. A big thanks to HOLDAN for sponsoring me for a couple of years. My thanks to JVC Professional for their continuing sponsorship and to Production Gear for their sponsorship and special deals for me and my readership. A giant thanks to my oldest sponsor H. Preston Media who has supported this sight for the last 10 years, giving me and many of my readers great deals over the last 10 years. A big thanks to all my readers who keep me writing this blog week after week and thanks for the last 10 years.

I do hope Panasonic stick with the micro 4/3 format going forward into 8K. Why 8K…this would be awesome cutting into/re-framing the 8K picture on the HD or 4K timeline.

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

Emergency parachute deployment for drones

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What a great idea but no mention of cost.

Both the US and UK require drone operators to get permission before operating a small UAV (sUAV) above a crowd, a limitation that intends to protect innocent bystanders from injury in the event of a drone crash. Waivers are offered on a case-by-case basis by both the US’s FAA and the UK’s CAA, but require operators to show how people below will be protected if the drone experiences a failure mid-flight.

The FAA granted its first waiver in October 2017, when it gave CNN permission to fly a Vantage Robotics Snap drone featuring protective rotor cages over a group of people. A parachute system like the Indemnis Nexus offers a different type of protection, one that is the first ever to meet the international ASTM F3322-18 standard for small UAVs.

The standard covers deployable sUAV parachute systems, including design, fabrication, and testing, and was designed to help drone operators get permission for flying over crowds from agencies like the FAA and CAA.

According to Indemnis, it was required to pass a series of 45 functionality tests spread across five drone failure scenarios. Testing took place at New York’s Griffiss International Airport in a controlled airspace; the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance oversaw the process.

The Indemnis Nexus system is designed to strap onto existing DJI drones, which it monitors using sensors. If the sensors detect a flight disruption, a ballistic launcher deploys a parachute at 90MPH / 144kmh. The tube containing the parachute is designed to inflate in order to protect the parachute from the drone’s rotors and body.

The drone was validated for use with the DJI Inspire 2, but may be offered for the Matrice 200 and 600 series, as well, by the end of the year.

Indemnis ASTM Testing from Indemnis on Vimeo.

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

DJI Osmo Pocket Review with the Panasonic GH5 (UPDATED)

Categories: Miscellaneous 6 Comments

Before using the new DJI Osmo Pocket I had to switch from 60p to 50p now this is something you can’t yet do on the Pocket itself you need to use the Mimo APP on your iPhone to do this. Once it’s changed it stores it on the Osmo automatically. 

Think I have found a bug, if you are connected to your iPhone you can only get 50p in PRO mode but if you disconnect the Pocket from the iPhone and switch off PRO mode it will revert back to 60p. This has been addressed with firmware 1.0.4

The one thing I was not prepared for was the ability to film indoors using your home lighting and how good the pictures are. 

Me filming indoors at night with the Osmo Pocket (PS My house LED lighting are daylight balanced)

I really do think the Osmo Pocket much like the other Osmo’s should come with a stand as part of the deal, it does stand up on its own but you are always very wary of it falling over.

Having now used the Pocket in a professional interview I am very pleased with the results.

One of the trickiest parts of the DJI Osmo Pocket is trying to find how to launch it into PAL (UK) mode. This can only be done with the Mimo APP within the iPhone/Android itself. You have a choice of 1920 HD or 3840 4K, with frame rates of 24, 25 or 30 then 48, 50 or 60p and set to a quality of fine, you choose by taping on your preferance.

The Osmo Pocket was used in conjunction with a Panasonic GH5 and gave a very good account of itself.

Another problem is the position of the two internal microphones, not that you are using the sound for anything other than sync track but its the hole bottom left that catches you out when holding the Osmo in your hand.

Why do companies like DJI never consult the people who use their products when designing these units and they would have been told not to position a second mic in the base of the unit

Dont expect the Osmo Pocket to give you Steadycam results as like all its predecessors it suffers from a noticeable bounce while walking.

We used the Osmo Pocket with the iPhone attached for a better viewing experience.

The picture quality is far better than I was expecting especially in 4K 50p and almost matched the Panasonic GH5 picture profile with a little tweak in FCPX. Like most of these things it’s the reds that are hard to match, but when you watch the video you are not so aware of this.

PlusPoints 

  • Shoots smooth, stabilised video in all lighting conditions
  • Incredibly compact and genuinely pocketable
  • App offers lots of depth and versatility
  • Good battery life for its size
  • First of its kind filming 4K 50p
  • Very good 4K pictures
  • Great tool for indoor family filming in limited lighting

Minus Points

  • Needs accessories to unlock its full potential
  • Autofocus can occasionally be sluggish
  • Cant track in 50p mode (very disappointing)
  • Audio quality is only average
  • Not waterproof without a case
  • Dont like the second mic situated on the base
  • In built screen is only useful as a guide
  • Noticable bounce while walking

I am truly stunned by the pictures coming out of this tiny Osmo Pocket. Comparing it beside the GH5 was a good way to test how good the pictures are and I have to admit I was taken aback with the depth of picture quality compared to all my other two Osmo’s. For £329 this is indeed a 3 axis camera that  sets the standards for others to follow.


Having bought this item in the Osmo Pocket Expansion Kit I am rather disappointed in the WiFi performance as it keeps cutting out. I hope this will improve over firmwares.

Below is a short edited video to let you see the Osmo Pocket beside the Panasonic GH5. You can watch the full 11m film at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbP3G5FsDS4&t=5s

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

Sharp announce 8K camera at CES 2019 less than $5,000

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Picture courtesy of NEWSSHOOTER

Wow Sharp is first out the starting gate with an 8K sensor plus full size HDMI socket and a mini XLR socket.

First prosumer 8K camera boasts Micro Four Thirds mount, 30fps, and a 5-inch articulated touchscreen.

Sharp has entered the consumer camera sphere completely out of left field, revealing what looks to be the first sub-$5,000 8K camera in Las Vegas. 

The new camera, currently known as the Sharp 8K Video Camera. It was on display in prototype form only, with all specs and features subject to change, as full details will be revealed at NAB 2019 in April. 

The prototype was mounted with an Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm lens, the first clue that the camera will feature a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) mount. It will be powered by a stabilised CMOS sensor, capable of delivering 8K resolution at 30fps (though Sharp stated that it was targeting 60fps) using the H.265 codec.

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

1TB SDXC from Lexar €440

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Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions today announced the new Lexar® Professional 633x SDXC™ UHS-I card with 1 terabyte (1TB) of memory. No one ever imagined even 5 years ago that SDXC cards would reach 1TB.

Shoot and record more of what you love without changing cards with this high-capacity 1TB memory card that supplies the space you need for capturing all the action. Designed for your mid-range DSLR, HD camcorder, or 3D camera, the Lexar® Professional 633x SDXC™ UHS-I card lets you quickly capture, and transfer high-quality photos and stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video2, with read speeds of up to 633x (95MB/s)1. This Class 10 card leverages UHS-I technology to deliver high-speed performance to get the shot you want, while providing the reliability you need. 

“Almost fifteen years ago, Lexar announced a 1GB SD™ card. Today, we are excited to announce 1TB of storage capacity in the same convenient form factor. As consumers continue to demand greater storage for their cameras, the combination of high-speed performance with a 1TB option now offers a solution for content creators who shoot large volumes of high-resolution images and 4K video,” said Joey Lopez, Senior Marketing Manager.

All Lexar product designs undergo extensive testing in the Lexar Quality Labs, facilities with more than 1,100 digital devices, to ensure performance, quality, compatibility, and reliability. The 1TB Lexar® Professional 633x SDXC™ UHS-I card is available now at an MSRP of €439.99. My question is that will cameras like the Panasonic GH5 recognise this size of card ?

www.lexar.com.

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

The DJI Controller “Possibly the weakest part of the chain” till now !

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Amazingly I was all set to write how much I do not like the “Heath Robinson” Mavic controller that works with the iPhone when DJI decided to bring out a dedicated Smart Controller.

When you arrive at your position it takes forever to setup the controller making sure you have the lightening connector correctly positioned then scrunching the phone into position and lastly showing the iPhone X your face this all takes a horrendous amount of time.

The wiring from the controller to the iPhone is definitely a weak spot and the iPhone perched on two rubberised posts is asking for trouble.


Now this looks a lot better and your not relying on an Apple iPhone, scrunched either side. Plus DJI claim its twice the brightness of a smartphone so viewing the live feed should be far better. At £579 its not cheap but for budding pilots like me its well worth the money.

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

The first few days with the DJI Mavic 2

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Having piloted for a total of 1h 43m its still a steal learning curve every time my Macvic 2 goes up.


Firstly I couldn’t find tripod mode till someone on the DJI forum pointed out you must enable Multiple Flight Modes in the DJI GO 4 APP.

Then you get the ability to switch on and off Tripod mode from the controller itself, very useful. For people not up with the terminology Tripod mode makes the drone move at about 2mph allowing very smooth dolly shots.


Since speaking to my friend Chris I have bought myself a set of extended landing gear from Kingwon (£14) as the Mavic sits ridiculously far too close to the ground making grass landing almost near impossible.

Simon taking the Mavic 2 Pro out for its first spin

I am indebted to my friend Simon for getting me started as he usually fly’s a Boing 737 for a living.

This morning I was flying and got an alarm from the controller, my battery was low. Panic don’t panic, I was like corporal Jones from Dads Army, making a lot of flying errors trying to land the drone in a hurry, another learning curve and totally my fault for not flying on a fresh battery. This was the shot I sent my Mavic to capture.


I will leave you with a tutorial from Dylan Young a chap who shows you how to return your Mavic to home.

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

A Happy New Year to all my readers and a healthy 2019

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

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

DJI Mavic 2 PRO my first steps and learning curve.

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

I finally got a drone just before Christmas and just for extra luck and safety I got my first training by Simon an aircraft pilot who actually flies a Boeing 737 for a living.


My Mavic 2 PRO with guide stickers still attached was a dream to fly but not without its problems. One thing I was not prepared for was a dog barking at the drone that was running out of battery power and needed to be brought down ASAP. After I told the dog owner our problem she grabbed the dog and all was fine but a moment I was glad to have alerting me for dogs in future flight.

My friend and seasoned drone pilot Chris told me the drone gives off ultrasonics that annoys animals. As a further example of how things can go wrong we put the drone down on the grass and some of it got tangled in the rotors so we had to dismantle one set of blades to untangle it but that’s all part of the learning curve.

Me and Simon during my first solo flight

I have admired my good friend Philip Blooms drone footage for many a year and it gave me the inspiration to have one myself. This is not my first drone as I did buy a DJI Phantom 4 a couple of years ago but I was far from happy with it and sent it back. The Mavic 2 is far superior in all ways especially the smoothness of its flying and it also gives you a lot of confidence with so many health and safety features built in.

Hampden Park, Glasgow

We were photographing a place called Cathkin Park which is a stones throw from Hampden Park. Before the Mavic was aloud to fly we were told via the DJI Go 4 APP that we were near a restricted flying area and had to send my mobile phone number and co ordinates to register ourselves before we were allowed to fly, this told me it was not a DJI drone that was involved at Gatwick last week.

Cathkin Park home of Third Lanark

This was the shot we came for a great overhead shot of Cathkin Park the second home of Scottish football. I would like to thank my good friend Simon for teaching me the basics of flying and always to keep your eyes on the drone whilst flying. As a seasoned aircraft pilot he was very impressed with the DJI Mavic 2 PRO and how steady it was. I also wish to thank Chris from Arran who gave me a lot of hints and tips.


To keep up my flying hours I sent the Mavic up beside my house today and got a wonderful picture of the surrounding area.

I will leave you with Philip Blooms inspiring footage with his review of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

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

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