NEWS from IBC 2014..Sony PXW-FS7 £8,400 with 28-135 f4 lens

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Sony has today launched the PXW-FS7, the first 4K XDCAM camera to feature a Super35 CMOS sensor. Capable of shooting in 4K Quad Full HD  (QFHD) and super slow-motion Full HD, the latest member of the XDCAM family has been designed for documentary, music video, online content creators and corporate filmmakers looking for beautiful picture quality and an unrivalled choice of recording formats. The 11.6 million-pixel Super35 ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor within the PXW-FS7 delivers stunning sensitivity, shallow depth of field, a high signal-to-noise ratio and fantastic low light performance. The camera has the ability to record QFHDi with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling up to 600 Mbit/s, with support for a variety of recording formats including XAVC Intra, Long GOP, MPEG HD422 and Apple ProRes 422 available early 2015 by firmware update.


Key features of the PXW-FS7

Super35 ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor with 8.8 million-effective pixels. The PXW-FS7 is able to capture great image quality without needing significant lighting support. It has high-speed image readout characteristics, such as 240 fps while recording 2K RAW on an external recorder, responsive sensitivity (ISO 2000) and a high signal-to-noise ratio. The PXW-FS7 supports QFHD up to 60 fps at launch, with an upgrade to 4K 4,096 x 2,160 resolution due to be made available in early 2015.

Flexibility across recording codecs. The PXW-FS7 is compatible with Sony ́s new XAVC Intra and XAVC Long GOP formats, each supporting 10-bit 4.2:2 recording for Full HD recording. Recording in QFHD resolution, SlowMotion up to 180fps or even Full High Definition with 60/50 progressive frames is possible. By using the optional extension unit XDCA-FS7, the PXW-FS7 is capable of natively recording in Apple ProRes 422 codec, planned to be available in early 2015 by firmware update. In addition, thanks to the XDCA-FS7’s Raw interface, the PXW-FS7 is capable of 4K/2K Raw recording with Sony’s HXR-IFR5 and AXS-R5, or with a compatible third-party external recorder.


A vast range of creative choices. The PXW-FS7 features 2 XQD card slots that support simultaneous recording and relay recording. The camera includes a low-pass video filter, progressive pixel reading and advanced camera processing, enabling a broad span of creative treatments, and benefits such as high speed recording, high resolution, high sensitivity, less aliasing and less rolling shutter. To support FS7’s S&Q motion and internal 4Ki recording, a new XQD G series with ultra-high speed transfer up to 400MB/s (read) and 350MB/s (write) has been developed. The XQD card G series is designed specifically to further enhance the PXW-FS7 workflow. In parallel, the camera’s built-in ND filters offer exceptional shallow depth-of-field, allowing users to further expand their shooting styles without requiring external ND filter equipment. S-Gamut3/SLog3 & S-Gamut3.Cine/SLog3 are supported for flexibility of post-production options.

Easy mobility and choice of shooting style. Sony has also today introduced the VCT-FS7, a light-weight rods support, featuring 15mm rods and an adjustable shoulder pad. This enables the use of additional Matte boxes, the easy attachment of Follow Focus systems or of an external recorder. In addition to the on-shoulder operation, the PXW-FS7 can also be set-up on a tripod and as a handheld camera. The supplied handgrip provides easy access to relevant functions αMount System enables auto exposure and SteadyShot stabilization during shooting.


The PXW-FS7 uses the E-mount lens system and comes supplied with a new E-mount lens FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS (SELP28135G), which is the world’s first 35mm full-frame interchangeable power zoom lens i.. The new E-mount powered zoom lens features constant F4 value, independent rings for Iris, Zoom and Focus control and is dust and moisture resistant. The SELP28135G has steady shot stabilization, minimum focus breathing and is enabled with Sony’s new SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) to reduce zoom and focus noise while shooting. Furthermore, Sony’s optional LA-EA4 A-mount lens adaptor allows compatibility with a wide range of high-quality A-mount lenses, benefiting from the PXW- FS7’s auto-focus function for quick and convenient operation.


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

NEWS from IBC 2014…JVC GY-LS300 4K handheld camcorder

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GY-LS300 compact 4K camcorder

A prototype model of the new GY-LS300 compact handheld camcorder is being shown at IBC, featuring JVC’s exclusive Super 35mm 13.6MP 4K CMOS image sensor, developed by JVC’s sister company, AltaSens, for 4K 24/25/30p recording. The camera uses Micro Four Thirds lenses, originally developed for DSLRs to deliver cinema-quality images in a compact camcorder, and also accepts a wide variety of stills and video lenses for filmmakers who have already invested in expensive lenses (converters available for PL-mount and other lenses). This first prototype has an advanced codec and onboard recording system, providing 4K imaging on standard SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 memory cards, and its dual codec system also delivers simultaneous recording and streaming for both HD/SD and HD/proxy files. The camera features the 4K CAM logo and marks the start of this new camera series from JVC.

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

IBC 2014

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Amsterdam RAI is the place to be from the 12th of September if you want to see all the new gear from Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Canon, BlackMagic to mention a few.



Panasonic will be showing off their new 4K VariCam as well as the new HC-X1000 which I am told comes from Panasonic consumer as well as the GH4.




Sony will have the new PXW-X500 broadcast camcorder and the PXW-X70 hand held 1″ camcorder as well as the A7s and the new FS7 4K camcorder more details later today.




JVC will be showing their new GY-HM850 camcorder with live streaming capabilities.

More news and details to follow from IBC 2014.



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

Ikegami HC-HD300 camera

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Ikegami has chosen IBC2014 as the venue for the introduction of the HC-HD300, a compact and aggressively-priced high-definition camera designed for a wide range of applications. These include satellite and cable television presentation studios, independent programme-making, training studios and religious television channels.

The HC-HD300 is equipped with a 1/3 inch bayonet lens mount and employs three 1/3-inch CMOS progressive-scan sensors, each with 2.2 million pixels, in RGB prism formation. It delivers high quality pictures in all commonly used HD video formats: 1920 x 1080/59.94i, 1920 x 1080/50i, 1280 x 720/59.94p, 1280 x 720/50p and 720 x 480/59.94i (NTSC), 720 x 576/50i (PAL).

Typical performance characteristics of the HC-HD300 in 1080/59.94i output mode are 1,000 television lines horizontal resolution, 58 dB signal-to-noise ratio and 2,000 lux sensitivity (89.9 per cent white reflection) at F10 aperture. Equivalent aperture in 1080/50i mode for this light level is F11.

Camera gain be attenuated from mid level to -3 or -6 dB, or increased by +3, +6, +9, +12 or + 18 dB. Integral neutral density filters (100 per cent, 25 per cent, 6.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent) can be switched in as required, plus operator-selectable 3,200, 4,300, 6,300 and 8,000 kelvin electronic colour conversion. An electric shutter can be set to 1/100, 1/120, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1,000 or 1/2,000 second speed.

The HC-HD300 weighs 4.5 kg including FA-300 fibre adapter and measures 139 x 270 x 337 mm (width x depth x height). Operating voltage range is 11 to 16 volts and power consumption (excluding FA-300) is 19 watts. The camera is designed for use within an ambient temperature range of -20 to +45 Celsius and 30 per cent to 90 per cent non-condensing operating humidity.

Available options include the newly-developed FA-300 fibre adaptor and BSF-300 base station. The HC-HD300’s output cable is fitted with a Neutrik opticalCon Duo connector to provide efficient protection against dust. Up to 250 metres of cable can be connected direct to the camera, extendable to 10 kilometres by using external power.

Supporting features of the HC-HD300 include the focus assist and lens aberration correction functions employed in Ikegami’s established UnicamHD range of cameras.

The Ikegami HC-HD300 will be deliverable from December 2014.

Details of the full Ikegami range of broadcast cameras can be seen at

Ikegami’s Broadcast and Professional Video Division will exhibit on stand 11.A31 at IBC2014, RAI Amsterdam, September 12-16. Company representatives will include Masanori Kondo (President, Ikegami Europe), Peter Grimm (General Manager, Broadcast Business Development) and Michael Lätzsch (Broadcast and Professional Video Division Manager).


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

Five figure sum for using copyright music online !

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Copyright infringement can be a costly exercise and for one young American wedding videographer it nearly cost him his business…

Ron Dawson of Dare Dreamer Magazine…

“One of the first questions a “new born” wedding videographer will undoubtedly ask is “I have this bride who wants to use [insert popular music artist of the day] for her wedding video. Can I use it if she gives it to me?” Or, “Can I use it if I buy it on iTunes?” Or some version thereof. Just for the record. The answer is unequivocally “NO!”

Well. Maybe I’m being a tad melodramatic. But, I am not embellishing when I tell you that on one Facebook group, there are hundreds and hundreds of posts about this topic.


Hi Joe. Was this super viral video the straw that broke the camel’s back?

I can’t discuss the details of the suit, but it is real. I did have a video that went viral, we had used a very popular song on it, someone saw it and brought it to the attention of the labels legal team and from there they came after us. Getting that letter in my inbox and as a fax was super scary. You always here “they’ll just send you a cease and desist letter and you take it down” and I always thought that would be true. But the letter that came through and they wanted a lot of money for damages, it the tune of $150,000 for one song. If that didn’t scare you straight I don’t know what would. I spent the next month or so going back in forth with the label to reach a settlement, it was a huge stress on my business and my life and I would never wish this on anyone else. I can’t say what we settle for but it looked like this $XX,XXX , which is a LOT of money for a small business.

What are the top 5 tips or things you’ve learned, that you can teach those wedding videographers out there when it comes to using legally licensed music?

1 – Read the fine print for the sites you are buying music from, each is very different and you want to make sure you are not violating their restrictions. Because if you do you are right back where you started, using music illegally.  Some have only one year licenses and others 5 year licenses. Always read the fine print.

2 – Educate your clients about the laws of music copyright.

3 – If you are using multiple music licensing sites make sure to check them all, they may have the same song and one could be cheaper than the other.

4 – Don’t just settle for the popular songs on the licensing sites, dive deeper into it and find the more obscure songs that will have the best impact on your audience.

5 – Make suggestions to the music licensing sites, they would love the help in finding music that you love to use and chances are they can get the songs for you! They can’t read your mind, help them get better music for all of us.

Read the full story at Dare


On the back of this I decided to phone PRS, PPL and MCPS to get a handle on this problem…

PRS told me that a wedding is a personal event and so is the music played on the day, the key information here is that no one pays to watch a wedding but if you use copyright music i.e. over the photographers section it only becomes a problem if it is posted online.

That sent out some very strange signals to me but remember there are two further companies involved in this copyright music mess.

A children’s dance show hits a different set of criteria because the parents pay to watch the show you will need to buy a licence from MCPS.


If you want to record music being played at a wedding you must have one of these licenses…A PPL licence can be purchased from the Institute of Videography (IOV)

IOV “This licence is issued on behalf of the Record Company and the Performers, and enables you to record their music in actuality (such as that being played by a DJ at a wedding reception) and to dub music on to the wedding video in post production.  The licences are in the form of holographic stickers which must be applied to all DVD copies of the video.”

For a five DVD wedding you are looking at £20.50

For a 50 DVD dance show you are looking at £62 per show !


IOV “This licence is issued on behalf of the Composers and Publishers, and enables you to record and dub their works (music score and lyrics). Each event or production will require a separate licence, and the cost is governed by the number of copies being made of the original – and the duration of music included.”

For a five DVD wedding you are looking at £15.32 up to 25m of music used per production.

For a 50 DVD dance show you are looking at £85.79 for a two hour show.

So there you have it a 2014 up to the minute look at keeping your video production company legal especially if you produce live events like weddings, dance and stage shows. My advice is to stick to non copyright music at all times unless you have a good reason or a client who is willing to pay big bucks for copyright music, especially on corporate videos and anything online.

The Institute of Videography give special pricing for PPL and MCPS licenses;n=918


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

The NEW Panasonic HC-X1000 4K camcorder

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Panasonic’s HC-X1000 4K DCI/Ultra HD/Full HD Camcorder can help ease your transition, or allow you to jump right into 4K. The camera shoots and records cinema 4K at a true 24p, and UHD at broadcast compatible frame rates, so it fits smoothly into your existing broadcast workflow. The HC-X1000 features a 1/2.3″ MOS sensor that is always shooting at 4K resolution, and uses its two built-in Venus processing engines to scale the 4K image for Full HD delivery.

The built-in 20x Leica Dicomar lens features four lens groups, and electronically linked geared iris rings for manual control. The camera supports two optical image stabilization modes, one for 4K, and a different mode when shooting in HD, Two viewfinders provide you a choice when operating the camera with either a traditional tilt up color EVF, or a pull out LCD high resolution touch screen. The LCD touchscreen is positioned above the lens for a more natural viewing experience when shooting handheld.

The camera records in .mp4, .mov, or AVCHD codecs, and features dual SD media card slots. Please note that Panasonic recommends using SDXC cards rated as UHS-1 U3 for recording at the highest bit rates. The camera incorporates two SD card slots, allowing you to use relay recording, simultaneous recording and when recording HD you can use Panasonic’s background recording mode.

In 4K recording mode the camera utilizes Power O.I.S., checking and compensating for handshake up to four thousand times a second. In HD mode the camera employs 5-axis hybrid O.I.S. compensating for side-to-side, up-down, forward-back handheld shake.
The HC-X1000 features electronically linked zoom, focus, and iris rings on the lens. The rings are textured for better tactile feel, and the movement and control of the rings simulate the feel of mechanically linked lenses.
The camera features built-in selectable physical filters, a clear, 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64th ND for exposure control when shooting outdoors.
The camera records in either MP4, MOV or AVCHD Progressive. It will only record in 4K/UHD using the mp4 codec, however, all codecs support recording in full HD. MP4 & MOV recording support a 200 Mb/s all intra frame codec, which requires less computing power to playback.
A built-in IR emitter and IR recording mode allow you to shoot at 4K, and HD, in complete darkness without any visible light, although your images will have that familiar greenish IR look to them.
An illuminated ring lets your subject know when you are recording by changing from blue to red. Although this is pleasant in appearance, this feature can be disabled in the camera’s menu.
Camera Assist Functions:

  • Histogram: Displays the image as a brightness graph.
  • Zebra: indicates areas of overexposure by overlaying a striped pattern on the overexposed portion of the image.
  • The built-in electronic color bars allow you to calibrate your monitors, and can be recorded for playback.
  • You can activate a level indicator overlay, which can be useful to check the camera is level when shooting handheld or with a stabilizer.
  • Intelligent Auto: Two modes, iA and iA Plus allow the camera to select the appropriate scene mode for the scene you are shooting. In iA Plus mode you can adjust the brightness and color, while allowing the camera to control the other settings.
The camera incorporates a built in microphone, and two 3-pin XLR audio inputs for line or mic level input. Manual adjustments are via dials set into the side of the camera so you can adjust the levels during the shot without having to pull up a menu function. The dials are inset, making it less likely to accidentally change the settings.
Control and monitor the HC-X1000 in real time from a distance by using the Panasonic Image App on a smartphone or tablet device. With the camera’s NFC capabilities you can easily connect to your NFC enabled smartphone or tablet. If your smartphone or tablet is not NFC enabled, you can use QR codes to make the connection.
The 4K images that are taken by the HC-X1000 are compatible with a wide variety of nonlinear editing software, such as Apple Final Cut Pro X, that are available separately. Plus, the included HD-Writer XE2.0 software also supports the 4K video files for editing and file management, and is available for download.

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

RUMOUR… A new 4K Sony camera has been spotted

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Picture from

Eh…seemingly this strange looking camera is the replacement for the Sony FS700.

Nevertheless, the FS700 was a ground-breaking camera with its high-speed HD capabilities (240 FPS at HD 1920 x 1080). And it has steadily gained a great reputation for its images – easily rivaling much more expensive cameras in the right conditions. Perhaps the biggest weakness was its codec, which was AVCHD.

Sony Alpha Rumours says that it will have the “same sensor size” as the F55. That wouldn’t be surprising. What wouldbe surprising is if it were exactly the same sensor as the F55, which would mean that it would have a global shutter. We don’t think this is likely.

According to the Chinese Site the new FS700 will have Sony Raw and S-log 3. It will also support 180 fps continuous. What we don’t know is at what resolution.

In fact, what we don’t know is anything at all, with certainty. But we strongly believe that this is real.

Nor do we know when it will be launched, but given the proximity of IBC (starting next week in Amsterdam), we wouldn’t be surprised if it were officially revealed then.


One of my readers compared the back end to looking like an ARRI mag which I had not seen even though I had recently played with a 16mm Eclair.

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

How times have changed “When film was preferred over video”

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Firstly I must thank David Doré of SILK PURSE FILMS for sending me this PDF of a set of instructions he typed out over 30 years ago. Isn’t it funny how trends go full circle.



During the early 1980’s studio cameras were like the one’s above big and bulky as was the first portable video tape called U-Matic tape.




The 16mm Eclair ACL with a 12-120mm manual zoom lens f2.2 Angenieux lens…Pierre Angenieux of Paris invented the zoom lens !


Typical news crew during the mid 1980’s with a Hitachi Z31 Camera attached to a Sony High Band Umatic recorder which needed a crew of 2 in this case myself and Ian Bodie working for Clyde Cable Vision.


Film is still unique in ambiance, texture and mood, todays large sensor cameras are more “cinematic” but its not film.


This cameraman is using an Eclair NPR 16mm film and the lens is the Angenieux 12-120mm zoom.

Due to the bulkiness of early video cameras, its really interesting that film was being touted as a more compact way to shoot, sadly today film is loosing favour to the large sensor cameras like the Sony F55.


There is no going back we now have a blend of video/film from the DSLR upwards that satisfies many budgets from student to professional that was not available during the 1980’s.

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

“The Last Goodbye” a film made in Glasgow with a Sony FS100

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Photography © Corinna Kidd

I saw a link to this film on Facebook recently and asked my good friend Allen (DoP) what camera he had used to make this internet film “The Sony FS100, it was just out and Sony gave us a demo model to use on the film. We were very impressed with the picture quality and how cinematic the picture looked”.

The film reminds me of one of those early 1980’s feel good films “Gregory’s Girl” by Bill Forsyth. The film runs 51 minutes but stick with it its a good storyline.

Hugh Creaney”It began in October 2010. Whilst working away from home, I found myself stuck in a hotel with not a lot to do. Instead of spending my time in the pub, I decided to turn my hand to writing a script I had been thinking of for a while. This is where “The Angels’s Share” was born, soon to be renamed The Last Goodbye.

Tired of the usual portrayal of my home town of Glasgow in the movies and television, I aimed to throw some new colours and angles at no mean city. For years the city has had an identity of hard men and drug addicts. Of gang fights and drinking yourself stupid. Not everyone in the city is like this and I was determined to show a softer side of the dear green place that is Glasgow.


Over a few nights, I developed a small tale of two people meeting and spending a day together across various locations in Glasgow. Inspired by hip, indie romantic films and music the couples relationship flowered over dialogue which I hoped people found natural and just like how normal people talk to each other.

Taking cues from my own life, I had always had James and Helen in mind to play the central roles. The characters are even named James and Helen. Having worked with James before, I knew how great an actor he was and wanted to give him a chance to shine. Luckily he and his wife Helen both liked the roles and agreed to take part. It was a challenge for them too, having never acted together before.

From here, I needed to hone the script. I asked a director friend to look over the script and give me some feed back to improve it. After reading the script and giving me some pointers, Michael asked if he could help out in any way. I asked if he would help me direct it and teach me along the way.

With most of the cast and crew on board I started scouting locations and found most people really helpful. Explaining what we were doing, why and how seemed to curry favor with most contributors. They liked the idea of not another grim Glasgow story.

We aimed the production for the September weekend 2011 and started rehearsing with James and Helen. The cast and crew agreed to work for free. Most locations accommodated us for nothing, some with a small donation. Equipment was given and borrowed from various places.


Close to filming dates, James and Helen both got paying acting jobs. This meant that production dates had to shift. After a lot of phone calls, explaining and begging, the dates pushed right back to the next year.

February 2012 we find ourselves out on the streets of Glasgow with 4 days to capture a little love story. 2 actors and 6 crew members filming on the hoof on the mean streets and in the great locations in Glasgow.

From Kelvingrove Art Gallery to the Lighthouse, pubs and coffee houses to the legendary Barrowland Ballroom everyone was so welcoming of our wee crew. Especially as we didn’t swamp the locations with loads of crew.

Weather proved our toughest counterpart, with a few exterior scenes hastily relocated to interiors with a few phone calls and unscheduled visit to a record shop.

With the main parts filmed and after a day picking up general views of Glasgow, I decided not to jump straight into post production. Leaving the film on the shelf for a few months would give most helping out a small break and hopefully fresh eyes when we started.

This was when three major stumbling blocks occurred to the film. The first was a problem editing and syncing sound. It seemed that the method we planned to use was very cumbersome and would take a long time to achieve. I enlisted the help of another friend, this time editor. Martin came to the rescue. I done some rough cuts of each scene for Martin to work to and he then plowed on in his own time, chipping the film into shape.


The second thing was that I discovered that Ken Loach was bringing out a new film. It was called “the Angels’ Share”. I was so disappointed and and could only hope that it was just a name. After watching a trailer, I saw the story was different, but it did include a scene explaining to the viewer what the Angels’ Share was. It was very similar to a central scene in my film when James explains it Helen.

I decided to start thinking of a new name, much to my sadness as I loved that name and had sat on it for a while. I kept the scene in the film though. It was an important scene and is crucial to Helen seeing James’ romantic, poetic side. It was too beautiful to lose. For me, the Angels’ Share is an explain action of what happens that day, something that just happens and is then gone forever. I had started to think of it embodying Helen’s character, something fleeting, heavenly, but ultimately unattainable.


The third hurdle was copyright for music in the film. Most of the music in the film wasn’t an afterthought, with most scenes written with the music in mind. It was used mainly as I’m a fan of the bands and musicians. I wanted to use it to bring them to a wider audience, to show them off too. It was never intended to make money from others’ craft and art, it was to score and evoke emotions that I hope the musicians can appreciate. I had a lot of negative emails from copyright holders which meant that some music here isn’t cleared. I have contacted the musicians and/or management and some were very helpful, even happy that I liked their songs and wanted to use them. That’s good enough for me. For now, I have to hope that record companies don’t insist I change and can see what I’ve done for what it is and the good intentions I had doing it as a fan of their music.

Most of 2013 was spent editing in spare time and making small changes here and there. Eventually in October 2013 we had a finished piece and showed it to cast, crew, friends and family.


Why did we make it? Probably because we could. For friendship. for love of the story. to show what we can do with little to no money. To show what we can do without the major crews and upheaval that most productions bring. We worked hard, but we had a great bond that made it come together”.

We can do it again too. 
If we put our minds to it.
Maybe it won’t take 3 years this time.

Now renamed The Last Goodbye, I hope you enjoy it.

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

The independent model in Media Coverage

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The last few weeks have been taken up with the YES, NO vote in Scotland so I decided to see if the independent model within our own industry fits a similar criteria, in other words does independence lead to a better quality of programming.

I take the BBC as an example because it is run out of London and has many stations throughout the UK versus the smaller independent company profile in this case based in Scotland.


Lets start with news…The BBC have moved down the path of VJs which are self shooting reporters while the independent company like myself have a cameraman, sound man\assistant and reporter and come supplied with the latest technology. On health a safety alone the independent approach is far safer even in this case (below) we have a cameraman, reporter and assistant.


The independent approach within news offers a safer environment and in most cases a better end result because the person behind the camera is a professional camera person giving the client far greater confidence during the shoot.

On the other hand the BBC are “streamlining” their resources for daily news, cutting corners to the extent that health and safety is now being breeched in a daily basis…why ?

Video Journalists don’t have anyone looking out for them…safety in numbers…nor their equipment, they have to rely on a single bag of kit, camera and usually a lightweight tripod.

I as an example have spare mics, radio and shotgun, cables, lights, sturdy carbon fibre Miller tripod and usually a portable OLED Sony SDI monitor if I use an LED panel light I also have lighting sand bags for the legs, this level of kit cannot be afforded by a single operator.


Channel 4 news sent us up to the Scottish Labour Conference during March this year to get an interview with Chuka Umunna this was recorded in HD and output in SD to a satellite truck, I had to configure the camera via the menu to output SD, VJs do not work at this level of sophistication.

Right away the independent news scenario gives extra employment, better standard of filming and a safer environment to work in.

Ah but the broadcasters are all using XDCAM camcorders, Scottish Television have only recently replaced their (DVCPRO) with Sony PMW-400’s which are now being superseded this week with the new PXW-X500.


Scottish Television had their DVCPRO camcorders for just under 20 years, now some may say that was a testimony to Panasonic but it’s the broadcast mentality …run the kit into the ground, this attitude only leads to a poor end result with kit that soon becomes unreliable.

The indépendant freelance market replace their camcorders at least once every 2-3 years giving the client the best and most up to date reliable kit.

One last thorny topic I will cover is if you own your own kit you are ten times more likely to look after it and make sure everything it spot on the night before a shoot…like renting in general if the kits not yours you are far less likely to care about a camera if you have not had to spend 10K upwards to buy one…sad but true.


During the Commonwealth Games this year I noticed this newspaper journalist using an iPad to interview the Renick sisters but as you can plainly see its a very impersonal way to interview someone.

Newspapers are fighting to get content on their websites no matter how…send someone to a presser and come back with pics and a half baked interview, this is worst than a VJ, at least the VJ has had some training.

How could the independent media sector help the “no money” newspaper, by getting better video content for their web pages, we are set up to film, edit and upload.

Not one newspaper has ever approached me to enquire about video content yet we are the obvious first port of call they insist on making 3rd rate video footage and complain when no one spends time on their web space.

That’s just two examples of how independent producers excel in filming content for news but news is a small part of a big production marketplace but also proves the point that if you want quality rather than quantity the independent model is the better road to go down.

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

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