Look out Focus Pullers…Redrock Micro to introduce Auto Focus Tracking System

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This seems a great solution for the vast number of manual lenses being used for large sensor cameras. My only problem with it is the extra meccano this introduces to the camera. The Movi is heavy enough but the advantages may override the extra weight.

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

Sony’s XQD dilema…FS7 only uses XQD yet still in short supply !

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Sony’s 128G XQD cards are like gold dust and relatively expensive at £415 per card. No one has them in stock. Once again Sony have been overwhelmed by the uptake of the FS7 and although working 24/7 they can’t keep up with demand.


An alternative to the 128G XQD card is the 64G version which is just as hard to get so an alternative may be the Lexar 64G XQD card. Some users have identified a slight problem using the Lexar in the new Sony USB 3 “G” reader. Sony points out the “G” reader is for G cards only. Lexar sell a USB 3 or Thunderbolt hub that takes either XQD, Compact flash, SDHD/XC and CFast modules.


The good thing is its cheaper by £80 per card and more readily available but will it work with the FS7, one person who knows his technology is Alister Chapman. Price was obtained from CVP’s website.


Alister “Lexar have two classes of card a slower 1100x – 168MB/s card and a faster 1333x – 200MB/s card. For my tests I chose the faster 1333x card as this wasn’t much more expensive than the slower card and on paper at least matches or betters the Sony S series cards which can be used for all modes and frame rates. The 1100x card should also work just at least as well as an H series card, maybe N series, but I have not tested one and would recommend testing before use.

I tested the card across a large range of frame rates and resolutions going all the way up to UHD 60fps on the FS7 and SStP on the F5 as well as S&Q all the way to 180fps. I had no errors or other major problems. I did notice in the F5 that the it takes a little longer for the red light above the record slot to return to green at the end of a recording. While the slot light is red you cannot start a new recording so you do need to be aware that you may have a momentary delay before you can record the next clip.”

You can read Alister’s full article here : http://www.xdcam-user.com/2015/03/tested-lexar-xqd-cards-in-the-pxw-fs7-and-pmw-f5/


Philip Bloom has 14 of the faster 1333x Lexar 64G cards used for a worldwide doc for CNN “The Wonder List” and reports 100% compatibility with the Sony FS7.


Could this be produced, an XQD to SDXC adapter that takes SDXC C10 U3 cards, that would save us a packet on XQD cards. The demonstration above is to size so as you can see there is certainly room for an SDXC card.

Some of you will have gone down the external recording route with an Odyssey 7Q or an Atomos Shogun, but the majority of us are XQD owners and feel happier with less electronics hanging off our FS7’s. Lets hope the lack of XQD cards is a temporary blib and maybe Sony can thank us with some price deals on cards.

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

From the Panasonic HPX-250 to the new Ikegami 4K 2/3″ system camera…an interesting coincidence !

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The picture above was taken on the 4th of February 2012 just over three years ago with my good friend from Holdan, Nigel Cliff. Nigel had brought me one of the first Panasonic HPX-250 camcorders to have a look at.

I received a very telling email from one of my readers Andy Johnstone which I thought I would share with you…

Andy “I was out shooting my HPX250 yesterday on my new film for BBC on a story in Cornwall. As I was shooting I was thinking ‘how on earth would I be able to shoot this on the FS7′. I am sure the FS7 would knock spots off the HPX250 in terms of overall image quality, but the HPX250 does produce a very fine image and these small handheld camcorders are peerless for obs doc work.

The speed at which I work would be totally compromised on an FS7 with all the lens changing and you cannot underestimate the ability to capture actuality that a 28-600mm fixed lens gives you. I think in the rush to get that ‘film look’, many people forget that the most important thing is telling the story. Indeed, at a dinner last night I spoke to vastly experienced BBC colleague who told me that there is a move against shallow DOF shooting in BBC factual as so many key ‘moments’ are missed with all the fiddling about. This colleague also said that people are tiring of the shallow DOF looks for documentary as this is ‘not how our own eyes see the world’. Make of that what you will.

I am very keen to be able to offer clients the best possible images I can produce, but I think I’m going to keep my powder dry and rethink. I think the FS7 with a better stock lens would be much more attractive. I am now keen to see what the response from Panasonic & Canon will be.

Certainly if Panasonic brought out a new version of the HPX250/PX270 with a larger chip, a great stock lens (28-600 – yes please) and 4k (just to keep up with the Jones, I buy it tomorrow.”

I also received an email this week from Ikegami showing off a new 4K 2/3″ sensor system camera which in my opinion if a recorder were bolted on would fit the bill for factual programming, a colleague of mine always told me a 4K shoulder mounted 2/3″camcorder would be just the job for doc and factual work.


Unfortunately it was pointed out to me this yet un-named camera is a system camera and will be on show at NAB 2015. I still  think with some engineering and enough “will”… seasoned professionals would jump at the chance at a 4K camera in a form factor that many of them are happy with. This constant changing of lenses on the Super 35mm cameras is becoming tiresome and can lead to lots of production time and shots lost, thats why the Sony FS7 has almost scored a goal but Sony need to bring out a decent servo zoom lens to satisfy the growing ownership. Due to the 1.5x crop your 28mm Full Frame lens becomes 42mm which is not wide enough. (Ref Sonys 28-135mm f4 servo zoom).

Getting back to the Ikegami camera this would allow you to film 4K with a Canon 22x lens and use the 4K capability to punch in on the picture on an HD timeline doubling you lens capability to 44x.


Although I am a Sony PXW-FS7 owner I know exactly where Andy is coming from and he is correct…we do not visualise the world in anything other than a large field of view and if you are filming once in a life time shots the last thing you want is a slightly out of focus shot thanks to a shallow depth of field or a lost shot due to a lens change.

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

Pre NAB 2015 NEWS…Canon to show new 4K cinema camera

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Here is a glimpse of a new 4K camera from Canon showing it off is Canon China President & CEO Hideki Ozawa.


  • 1″ CMOS Sensor
  • 58mm filter
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Similar shape to the Canon EOS 70D
  • External viewfinder
  • Canon 10X optical zoom 8.9-89mm f/2.8-5.6 4k video fixed lens (35mm Equi. 24-240mm)

This seems to be from the domestic side of Canon as a fixed lens won’t go down well with professionals. This puts even more pressure on Canon Professional to announce a 4K replacement for the C300. More news when we get it.

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

Interesting freak workaround for GH4/YAGH owners on the sound monitoring delay using the YAGH.

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After installing FW 2.1 on my Panasonic GH4 I decided to re-visit the Sound Output tab to see if Panasonic had resolved the RECSOUND greyed out menu bar but sadly it has not been addressed, leaving many of us with sound monitoring that is slightly out of sync with what you are recording…very annoying.


I had a terrible time getting the .bin software to work till I got a tip to download it from another site which had the Macintosh option, after installing the software I hunted down the Sound Output bar on page 5 to discover to my delight it had been fixed…REALTIME. So I took it through to my edit suite to listen to my wife on the phone to her mother and amazingly …no sound delay…yee ha.

I left the room and noticed the micro HDMI socket was disconnected and re attached it. After another break I decided to photograph my discovery and write this blog post…what the f…the Sound Output bar was greyed out again and RECSOUND was the only option.

It took a further hour to discover what was going on, if you attach the micro HDMI socket it does not allow you to choose REALTIME sound monitoring while if you pull it out and monitor your pictures via SDI you get REALTIME monitoring with no sound delay via the YAGH…now thats a tip worth sharing !

This is obviously a bug that Panasonic needs to address the next time they decide to update the GH4 firmware.

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

HOLDAN at BVE 2015

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Always an impressive stand, Holdan are busy showing off the latest video technology.


We interviewed Richard Payne of Holdan who is always a joy to talk to.


The Alphatron Tristar Bi-colour camera light was the star of the Holdan stand.


Another star of Holdan is Nigel (right) who is not only knowledgeable on his topic but a good laugh and friend.


Teradek announced a new H.264 encoder, the VidiU Mini, along with an accompanying iPad Production Suite called Live:Air (pronounced Live to Air).


Our Tony with a young attractive lass from Quadrus.

Here is our Holdan video produced at BVE 2015

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

NAB 2015 Rumours. Are Canon and Panasonic going to produce Sony FS7 spoilers.

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NAB 2015 is just around the corner and rumours are flying all over the internet of the following…

Canon need to show a 4K alternative to the Sony FS7 if they are to stay in the large sensor race, 8bit C300 is old hat, 10bits are the minimum spec for 2015 4K camcorders.

Canon need to produce a 4K internal recording 10bit camera this year, the bets are on a hybrid C300/500 with on board XLRs and a bit less boxy than the C300 design. The C500 was a disaster for Canon, 4K external recording was its main downfall apart from price.


To contend with Sony FS7 the “new” C450 will have to be around the £8K mark or less and have the ability to use a servo zoom and have XLRs on the camera itself. 4K 50p minimum recording spec.


Panasonic Broadcast have produced nothing as popular since the AF101 was produced. Panasonic have brought out a 4K 50p camcorder in the guise of the HC-X1000 which I reviewed recently and was very impressed with its 4K to HD picture.


The Panasonic HC-X1000 is not a Sony FS7 by any stretch of the imagination but if the rumours are to be believed we will be witnessing the final birth of a new 4K AF101 at NAB 2015.

The AF400 will be more of a contender for the FS7 as Panasonic already have a Hi-end 4K Varicam at £25K so they have nothing to lose by bringing out a £7K camcorder.

I would like to see the new 4K Panasonic with a Super 35mm sensor going away from the micro4/3 as seen on the AF101. Internal recording to SDXC cards, class 10, speed 3. Using expensive P2 type cards will not be the way forward, 10bit 422 minimum spec.

A wee birdie also tells me that Black Magic Design are also bringing out a new camera this year, I do hope we get away from big 10″ LCDs and get back to practical loupe viewfinders.

Sony will also bring out a camera or 2 but as they are basking in their FS7 success I doubt it will be a cut down FS7…or will it ?

I will leave you with a funny video about Canon…I dare you not to laugh.


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

ProductionGear at BVE 2015

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We filmed Simon and Bradley at the ProductionGear stand during BVE 2015. Simon who is an official drone pilot was talking about the new DJI Inspire One.




Steve is one of the partners along with Simon who own ProductionGear.



Bradley was demonstrating the DJI Ronin Handheld Gimbal System.


Here is out 5m video we produced for ProductionGear.

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

Vocas FS7 Viewfinder bracket £193

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First saw this at BVE this year and put my name down for one. The problem with the original LCD bracket is that its a circular rod so the ability for the LCD to tilt to one side is a major pain. After all I am the inventor of canted shooting, its known as the Howden shot.




Vocas obviously saw the strength in a rectangular bar system rather than a circular rod. With this Vocas system you can never have a squint viewfinder.


The best for me is the ability to park the VF in your camera bag without the need to keep taking off your loupe.

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

Warning for Sony FS7 owners producing 4K 50p LongGOP footage on FCPX

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Although I have two 128G XQD cards for my FS7 (still waiting for another 2) recording XAVC I on 4K 50p is time limiting so I use LongGOP which almost doubles your card time. FCPX does not look at XAVC L footage so you have to bring it in using 3rd party software.


I took my 4K footage into Sony’s Catalyst Prepare expecting to transcode to ProRes 4K 50p to discover your maximum ProRes render preset is full HD !


Not to be outdone I hunted Catalyst and remembered FCPX takes XAVC I frame footage…the answer…till I discovered after about an hours transcoding 8 files that I was ending up with document files !!! Sony have been made aware of this but it does not stop here…


As a back-up I have my Ultra Studio 4K running Media Express, now the latest firmware upgrade 10.3.7 brought 4k 50p…no problem I was covered. Sadly as I discovered it does not work, yet. Blackmagic told me they were aware of this and are updating the drivers this month to 10.4.7, so I hope I will have a solution to my problem.


I am using 4K to cut in and out of during an interview, making it look like a 2 camera shoot, this saves using 2 cameras cutting down on production costs.

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

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