Sony announce to HD Warrior v3 FW upgrade for PXW-Z100

Categories: Miscellaneous 26 Comments


SONY BROADCAST UK “We are pleased to announce that the version N°3 of  PXW-Z100 firmware upgrade will be available the 30thOctober.

This free of charge firmware upgrade will be publish  in “Resources” area  on under the main page of PXW-Z100.”

The version 3 will include:

  • XAVC Long GOP* 4K(QFHD)/HD recording capability with max.150 Mbps on XQD media card
  • TC output from HDMI

*XAVC-L (long GOP) is a codec with MXF file wrapper, in QFHD is 4:2:0 with 8bit, in HD is 4:2:2 with 10bit.


The next firmware version should include AVCHD recording and will be available in January 2015.

The Direct Copy function we plan to update in first half of 2015.

We intend to email all our registered users with this information when the software is ready to download.

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

Sony’s new PXW-FS7 camcorder Promotional Video

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments


This is the camcorder that set the heather alight at IBC 2014 the new Sony PXW-FS7, have Sony finally created the best 4K-HD camcorder of all time, I can’t fault this camera it ticks all the boxes and more.

Here is an interesting promotional video Sony have put together with a lot of interesting facts and figures.


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

Panasonic GH4 FW Update V2

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments


October sees the latest FW for the Panasonic GH4 and brings some interesting new modes including square pictures or 1:1

1. [4K PHOTO] mode is added which records 4K video exclusively for capturing a frame to save as a photo.

  • Settings can be adjusted as below when entering this mode.
-Rec Format : MP4
-Rec Quality : 4K/30p/100Mbps
(System Frequency 59.94Hz)
(System Frequency 50.00Hz)
-Luminance Level:0-255
  • In addition to 16:9 aspect, 4:3/3:2/1:1 can be selected.
  • Exif information is embedded to the captured image from the 4K video.
  • Marking function is available enables marker setting on the designated point while recording video and users can jump to the markers when playing back the video to capture the frame they want.
  • Loop Recording function is added, with which the camera keeps on recording video while deleting the old footage automatically.
  1. 4K/23.98p/100Mbps mode is added in MP4 video recording.
  2. The upper limit of the ISO sensitivity can be set in the menu of ISO sensitivity setting and emission amount of flash light can be adjusted in the menu of exposure compensation.
  3. Focusing performance of 1-area AF in video recording is improved.
  4. Tracking performance of tracking AF when used with the interchangeable lens H-FS14140 is improved.
  5. Remote shooting via USB tethering is available by using PC software “USB Tether” supplied by Promote Systems.


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

Sony’s AVCHD Firmware for the PXW-Z100 now 3 months overdue

Categories: Miscellaneous 16 Comments


Its clear that Sony have an intention to update the PXW-Z100 but this was being discussed as far back as January the 9th 2014, its now October and still no AVCHD. One disgruntled owner Michael Thompson has written to HD Warrior with his tale of woe.

Michael Thompson (PXW-Z100 owner)…

“I have publicised within the Institute of Videography and some members there are appalled. I have also posted a message to the Sony Europe Facebook page in the the hope that they may sit up and listen. I have also written to the suppliers of the camera who could be considered to be in breach of contract.

You are already aware of some of this, but it is worth repeating the story:

I bought just under a year ago a Sony PXW-Z100 4K camera which I have been very pleased with, by and large. But there is a serious issue about this and other Sony cameras which I feel is giving them a less than good reputation. Essentially, it has been sold unfinished.
Let me clarify.

When I purchased the camera, the manual acknowledged the following:

The “Memory Stick” media / SD card C slot / access lamp – to be supported by a future (firmware) upgrade.

USB connector (A type) – to be supported by a future (firmware) upgrade.

DATA CODE button – to be supported by a future (firmware) upgrade.

TC/U-BIT/DURATION button (to switch between the timecode and recording time display on the LCD screen. The user bit) – to be supported by a future (firmware) upgrade.

This upgrade was promised by Sony for the middle of 2014. I quote Sony:

*A firmware update is planned for the middle of 2014 to support the Long GOP mode for extended 4K recording time and to add support for AVCHD recording, a format that until now has been compatible with the playback environment of Blu-ray® Discs.

There was a minor upgrade in February 2014 which did none of these things (so far as I am aware) but did correct sound channels 1 and 2 which were the wrong way round, and one or two other things:

What’s New

Improved Functions
Audio Channel Correction
HDMI version 2.0
Slow shutter speed setting in Slow & Quick mode

My concern is that I have been chasing the v3.00 firmware upgrade for months. Eventually, I pretended to be a new buyer and asked Sony the question. The salesperson was very conscientious and eventually came back to me with some newly released software (not the promised firmware) and indicated to me that the firmware might not be released until 2015.

I find this exasperating as it means that the SD card slot and the USB connector are unusable and I cannot record using Long GOP which would enable more running time on the cards. Since XQD cards are very expensive (currently £380 approx for a 64GB card – 1/2hr at 4K and 1hr at HD ). I have started to use an Atomos Ninja 2 with 240GB which gives me 5 1/2 hours with ProRes HD.

Now, it doesn’t end there, unfortunately.

The newly issued Sony PXW-X70 is being raved about as an excellent camera, 50% the price of the PXW-Z100, but, according to Sony, “The PXW-X70 is also 4K ready and can handle 4K recordings with a future upgrade.”

Oh dear, here we go again.

It seems that they are beginning to make a habit of it, spoiling excellent cameras by relying on the issue of upgraded firmware, AFTER the sale, some time. The problem is they are not keeping the new owner of the camera up to date as to when that firmware might be issued.

Personally, I think this method of business is appalling and can give a company a bad reputation. After all, does any of us wish to buy something that hasn’t been finished? The trust is beginning to wane, somewhat…….”


HDW : I have written to Sony on this matter and hope to get a reply very soon which I will publish in this post. Meantime you can watch my review on the PXW-Z100 which was produced back in January 2014.

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

Sony A7s User Review and the 16-70mm lens confusion. (Update on lens)

Categories: Miscellaneous 12 Comments


Having sold one of my two GH4’s I decided to buy a Sony A7s because I needed camera that would perform well in lower lighting conditions. The first thing I tested was the cameras colour compatibility with using the A7s beside my GH4.

Next was choosing a lens, I looked at all the options before plumbing for the 16-70mm f4 ZEISS T* a cracking all rounder though I was not prepared to discover that this lens using APSC crop would also increase the noise at higher ISOs.


There has been a fair bit of confusion over the lens I chose, firstly its not a “Full Frame” lens as there is no FF equivalent. When I had my Canon 5D I had a 24-105mm lens and it ticked a lot of my boxes therefore I chose the 16-70mm lens knowing it would give me a 1.5x crop, what I was not aware of is that 1.5x crop would also increase the noise, thanks to Chris for pointing this out but indeed when I film with a full frame Nikon lens on an MTF adapter the noise is less than using the Sony non FF lens. The ISO was set to 12800 and the croped Sony lens is indeed a tad noisier, interesting. Update. I have decided to return the 16-70mm APS-C to WEX who are kindly exchanging it for the 24-70mm Full Frame version, its not due in till the end of the month and I will re-evaluate the ISO when I get my new lens.

I also bought a 60mm f2.8 Sigma lens which gets terrific reviews and is also a very sharp lens. The last item I bought was the hand grip which allows you to use a second Lion “W” battery extending your total video battery life to about 4 hours.


The worst feature of the A7s is the video record button, not only is it in the wrong place but its your only option unlike the GH4 where the shutter release button doubles up as the video record button, lets hope Sony do something about this in the next FW upgrade.


To solve the problem I bought a Sony RM-VPR1 remote that works a dream with a nice big video record button off camera making the A7s a lot more pleasurable to work with in video mode.


How does the Sony A7s compare with the Panasonic GH4…I used them only last week on a major NHS job filming side by side using the A7s as a wide locked off shot and the GH4 for a medium close up. The GH4 has the YAGH and the A7s was relying on its inbuilt mic for sound syncing. This worked well on the timeline but you have to remember to crank up the A7s to make sure you get enough volume to sync the two cameras together.


I have as I write ordered the £500 Sony XLR-K2M adapter kit, this fits onto the top of the A7s unlike the first Sony carbuncle that sits on a bracket.

Back to the colour compatibility…you can get them fairly close but FCPX nails the slight incompatibility with a great feature called “Match Color” and the XAVC-S file loads into FCPX a dream, this confused me at first when I tried to import XAVC LongGOP (PXW-X70).

There is a lot of nonsense being banded about the net as to the A7s ability to see in the dark…well it can but at the cost of noise…I find you can run the ISO up to 8000 happily before it starts to get noisy (APSC Sony lens) with a Full Frame lens (Sony only have 3 full frame E mount lenses to date) you should expect the ISO to climb to 12800 before noticeable noise kicks in. Videos on the internet hide a lot of noise wether its the compression used to convert the video who knows but I prefer to use my monitor in my edit suite and my trusty JVC reference monitor.

Here is a job we did recently, its still in its editing stage but gives you a look at the Sony A7s performing at ISO 8000


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

The Future according to Adobe

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments


Take a look at this interesting video produced by Adobe and see what they have lined up for the future.

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

Premiere Pro CC takes XAVC direct from the card

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments


I can report Premiere Pro CC v7.2.2 accepts Sony’s XAVC MXF file direct from the SDXC card and takes seconds to import…Premiere Pro CS6 on the other hand cannot ingest XAVC and crashes trying.


You have to hand it to Adobe they are on the ball with the latest codecs from Sony (XAVC) and Panasonic (AVC Ultra LongG) both files are accepted with no problems from the Panasonic PX270 and the Sony PXW-X70 camcorders. Apple are out on a limb once again with no support for XAVC or AVC LongG.

I use FCPX and am very frustrated with no support for LongGOP even after 5 months and a major update to 10.1.3 no inclusion has been made for LongGOP footage.


Once again we were out today with the Sony PXW-X70 filming waterfalls for a current project and the pictures are fantastic…my enthusiasm is only curtailed by the need to use Sony’s Catalyst Browse with its very limiting and time consuming process but something is better than nothing.

For the record Sony need to add the following features to Catalyst Browse…1. Batch process, 2. The ability to choose a template i.e. ProRes 422 HQ and use that preset for all transcodes.


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

Sony PXW-X70 Update on Lanc control and user info (Updated with new remote & AVCHD still)

Categories: Miscellaneous 46 Comments


Sony update their information from a PXW-X70 product specialist in Japan…

So there are two ways to control X70:

  1. Wi-Fi remote (using the Content Browser Mobile)
  2. Multi/Micro USB jack

-LANC remote controllers cannot be used. Remote controllers such as the ”RM-VPR1” and  “VCT-VPR100”(attached to a tripod) can be used. Multi/Micro USB to AV/R “VMC-AVM1” can also be used.

The Sony RM-VPR1 works with the PXW-X70 and has the following functionality…Start/Stop, variable zoom and power on and off. Not as good in my opinion as a Manfrotto zoom controller but having a variable zoom switch is a bonus I was not expecting. It comes with a clip to allow it to sit on a tripod handle but the regular video handle as used on the Manfrotto 505HD is too thick, a couple of tie wraps do the trick.



It’s official there is no hidden or otherwise LANC control for the PXW-X70 camcorder, you can use the supplied RMT-845 which is very useful for reviewing shots but not as practical as a wired zoom controller.


Last week was my first chance to use the X70 in anger and the pictures are fantastic to be honest I did not miss the zoom control and if I needed some kind of control during an interview I could use the small remote pictured above.

I think companies like Sony put so much effort into making a wee camera like the X70 professional that they forget the simple things like a LANC control but the picture quality certainly outweighs any misgivings I have over the lack of remote zoom control.


Having ND filters really sets this camera apart from the likes of the NX70 and NX30 also having a second card slot is a major bonus, one user comment the ND filter switch is behind the camera and would benefit from a yellow background like the AUTO/MANUAL switch above it.

You can only choose between SDI or HDMI or Video out of the camera so if you choose SDI the HDMI O/P is disabled.


The MENU switch is in the wrong position once the LCD is retracted its a pain to get to quickly.


Be aware that you will find yourself using the wrong switch during recording, I am so used to a round rec button I find myself trying to use the wee joystick to stop a recording but thats just a minor detail.



Jill pic timeline web

Click this picture Sony XAVC to see the Full HD 1920 X 1080


Click this picture Sony AVCHD to see the Full HD 1920 X 1080

I kid you not you will film your first interview with the X70 and sit in complete amazement at the sheer quality of pictures the XAVC codec delivers, I keep banging on about this wee cameras output but please be assured Sony have delivered a true jaw dropping picture out of a camcorder that most seasoned professionals would sneer at…till they saw the pictures !


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

Quad Copters take to the stage

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments


Found this on the net and its a great way to update that now familiar video toy …the quad copter.


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

Sony’s New “Catalyst Browse” for converting XAVC clips to ProRes for FCPX import (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 16 Comments


Firstly this is a temporary work around for FCPX users as Sony hope to have a working plugin for XAVC Long G in the near future that will negate the need for this browser. Today Sony released their powerful management tool “Catalyst Browse” which converts XAVC footage into ProRes and other formats.


Finally I get to choose my XAVC files (PXW-X70) via the computer and with this nifty application transfer them to Apple ProRes.


As you can see you can transcode to .mp4, DPX, ProRes and XAVC, I can only presume the XAVC version will be conversion from another Sony format ?


Exporting to ProRes gives you the perfect option for FCPX.


Here is a test shot I filmed yesterday now in all its full HD glory just about to be imported into FCPX…fantastic. You may want to download the “Catalyst Browse” for yourself remembering you will need to register with Sony before it allows you to download it for real…in other words this link takes you to a Sony download page where you can choose WIN or MAC versions…when you press download it will ask you to sign in or register, just fill in your details, sign in and press download again.

UPDATE Friday 3rd August : Sony reply to my email… “Some people have tried to batch capture from Catalyst Browse but the Transcode button greys out” Reply “Currently there is no batch transcode on the catalyst browse, but the team have already requested this as an additional feature.” “As I mentioned before we continue our close work with Apple on FCPX integration”.


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

Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 177 178 179 Next

%d bloggers like this: