Shot doing their job !…A hard lesson for all of us in the broadcast industry

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments


This is probably one of the most horrific news stories I have reported on HD Warrior and it has consequences for all of us working in television news. Many a time news editors send a crew to cover a live incident and inevitably its a crew of two or three if your lucky.

I have reported on this in the past but health and safety of news crews is at breaking point and this is a fine example of not enough people on the job due to limited budgets.

If Alison and Adam had one extra crew member overseeing their news broadcast this might have been a different outcome.

Norman Lamb live link

We all think we are safe when the camera appears and for the majority of broadcasts everything is fine. The problem is we have many different ways to send back live footage today which does not always rely on a sat truck being there. At least the sat truck gives you an extra person, someone to oversee the production.

Its all down to numbers…

1. Number of people allocated to a live shoot

2. The “cost” of having an extra person on the shoot

Television stations seriously need to re-think this VJ mentality where one person turns up to a shoot as well as the amount of crew deployed to a live shoot.

I have said this in the past and I will say it again we are now seriously understaffed in the broadcast industry especially in the news department…its all down to cost. We have shaved staff levels beyond the minimum safe level and I would like to see a minimum of three crew members at any live news event…”safety in numbers”.

I am asked at least once a month to film at a live event and I always factor in my son, Scott, who comes out of my budget, we work well together and as far as I am concerned brings a far higher level of security to the job.

The main thing to take out of this shocking news story is the sheer professionalism both Alison and Adam showed when approached by the gun man, they were so intent on their job they never saw him.

I would like to say how shocked and sad I was to hear this news and my heart goes out to Alison and Adams close family and friends.

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

A new solution to those annoying DSLR camera plate designs…Quick Release ONE from Edelkrone £95

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

QR1 title

At last someone has got their head screwed on and designed a universal quick release system for DSLRs. The Edelkrone QR-ONE only relies on the 1/4″ screw itself so you never need to find that illusive camera plate that only fits on one tripod.

QR green


The video tells the story…simple but effective, a great product for those of us who use more than one make of tripod.

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

The new Zoom F8…Eight track SD recorder £798

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Zoom F8 v2

Advances in video have made filmmaking accessible to creators everywhere. But the accessibility of professional audio devices has not kept pace. Field recorders, with essential features such as time code, have been unobtainable for most. Until now.

The F8 is made for serious filmmakers and sound designers.
With 8-input/10-track recording, super low-noise preamps, and support for 24-bit/192kHz audio, the F8 captures the highest-quality audio.


Mic pre’s

Outfitted with our finest mic preamps to date, the F8 features an extremely low noise floor (−127 dBu EIN) and high gain (up to 75 dB), with +4 dB line inputs.

High-resolution audio and advanced limiters
The F8 can record at 24-bit/192 kHz resolution and is equipped with onboard limiters designed to provide overload protection. Limiting can be applied to all 8 channels simultaneously at full resolution, with 10dB of headroom and controls for setting threshold, attack, and release.

Time code with pinpoint accuracy
The F8’s time code is state-of-the-art. It utilizes a precision oscillator that generates time code at 0.2 ppm accuracy, enabling rock solid syncing of audio and video.

The F8 supports all standard dropframe and non-drop formats, and can jam sync to time code being provided by external devices. An input and output are provided on standard BNC connectors, enabling easy integration into any rig.

Weight and build
The F8 is not only versatile and feature rich, it is the smallest field recorder with eight XLR combo inputs ever made. Weighing just 2.1 pounds (without batteries), its aluminum chassis is both rugged and durable.



Sound professionals sometimes work in dusty, hard-to-see environments. Level meters with adjustable brightness and its 2.4 inch full-color backlit LCD (which can be set to monochrome mode), make the F8 easy to use in any environment — from low-light to direct sunlight.

File formats, resolution, and sample rates
The F8 records in BWF-compatible WAV format at 16 or 24-bit resolution, and at any standard sample rate up to 192 kHz. When recording files in MP3 format, you can choose bit rates of 128, 192, or 320 kbps.

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

What a weekend

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Gadget title

Friday morning driving up to Dundee for 8.30am to film an insert for the Gadget show, this was a hard 10 hour day.

Gadget crew

For obvious reasons I can’t tell you anything about the day but the crew were great and I had a sound recordist, Colin. Jason the presenter was a joy to work with. A wee point for future reference my Mac book air is USB-2 and a 128G XQD card takes an hour to transfer while my iMac USB 3 only takes 20mins to transfer the same 128G card.


Its been a while since I was part of a multicam crew but this gig was a joy after the hard day before. I think my camera was called Dave ? Its a Sony HDC-1500 full HD studio camera.

Cam 2

My friend Mallo was over to my right while Daniel was up on the gantry, behind me.


There were 4 cameras on this shoot 3 manned and 1 locked off.


The 10 hour shift ended with a review of the best of the Edinburgh Festival presented by Anneka Rice.

DanielThis is Daniel he was up the back on camera 1.


Mallo was on camera 2 while I was on camera 3. Its nice to work with friendly, helpful people.


We filmed 3 shows in total and everyone was a sell out. My thanks to Donald our Director for making it such a pleasant day.


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

Samyang announce a dearer range of cine lenses. (£1600 each)

Categories: Miscellaneous 5 Comments

XEEN lenses v2

Samyang seem to be on a mission, just as I buy their 35mm T1.5 cine lens they announce a further range of newly designed cine lenses…XEEN lenses. I have to disagree with Samyang on this one, why produce a further set of lenses in a “new” housing and not make them optically better than the previous set ! Also, the last range of cine lenses have not even reached the market and are still on back order !!!

Sanyang lens

I have to commend Samyang on their 35mm T1.5 lens for being sharp and if truth be told I used it on a recent film “The Spirit of Edradour” in favour of 4K Canon glass to save the extra weight when filming hand held.

Sam 35mm

Having the lighter 35mm Sanyang lens for this shoot was a joy and the pictures were very good.

Edradour...Frame  copy

A frame from the original footage using the Samyang 35mm cine lens. ©RMN Productions.

samyang_xeen_50mm_cine_prime_lens_iris copy

To start with Samyang are bringing out 3 updated cine lenses, a 24mm, 50mm and 85mm for about £1600 each.

3 lenses

All 3 lenses will have the following specs…

  • Covers Full-Frame 35mm/Vista Vision
  • Available in PL, Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, and Micro 4/3 Mounts
  • Metal Construction & Fully Manual, No Electronics
  • Internal Focus Design
  • Multi-Coating for Color Consistency
  • Dual Side Focus and T-Stop Scales
  • 11 Blade Iris
  • Cinema Gearing for Focus and Iris
  • 200° Focus Rotation
  • Min. Focus Distance:  24mm — 10″, 50mm — 18″, 85mm — 3′ 9″
  • 114mm Front Diameter
  • 1/4″-20 for Lens Support
  • Weight: 24mm — 2.6 lbs., 50mm — 2.56 lbs., 85mm — 2.7 lbs.
  • 3 Year Limited Warranty
  • Availability: August 2015

Here is a video produced with the new lenses…

First Look: Xeen Cinema Primes from Cam Noir on Vimeo.

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

smallHD 502 now with cross conversion with firmware V2

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Features added to the 500 Series with Firmware 2.0

1.  3D Luts Downstream 

Feature Description: Send your 3D Luts downstream to the next monitor or device in line so your client or director can see a finished product. 

Notes: There is now an “output preview” page.  This page shows what is being sent downstream.  Use it to apply a look to the output video.  This page can also be hidden via the settings menu. (but not recommended)

2.  Cross Conversion Added (502 model only) 

Feature Description: You can now feed an HDMI signal into your monitor and output it via the SDI OUT, or feed an SDI signal to your monitor and output it through the HDMI OUT. 

Notes: Feature is activated in the monitor Settings menu under the Output option. 

  1. It is not possible to convert all HDMI formats to SDI.  You should restrict HDMI formats to those supported by SDI.  

3.  RGB Parade

Feature Description: The RGB Parade is a helpful video scope for separating out the 3 color channels of digital video: red, green and blue.

Notes: Feature is activated by applying “Waveform” and choosing the “Parade” style.

4.  SDI Metadata Display 

Feature Description: View timecode and record trigger that is being sent from your camera through the SDI output on your 500 monitor.

Notes:  Feature is activated through Add tool -> Overlays -> SDI Metadata

Shows a small box with the SDI timecode, and a full-screen border to indicate the Record Start / Stop bits.  Each function can be disabled individually.

5.  Brightness & Contrast Settings

Feature Description: You can now customize your monitor’s contrast and brightness. 

Notes: Feature is activated through Settings->System->Calibration in your monitor. 

Adjusts the panel’s brightness and contrast.  Last adjustment made to video data being sent to the panel.

6.  Profile Saving To SD Card.

Feature Description: Save your current monitor configuration to an SD card 

Notes: Feature is activated through Settings->User->Profiles

  1. Does not work without an SD Card.
  2. Only one profile may be saved per card.  Can be used to copy profiles between monitors.
  3. The following are intentionally not stored in the saved profile:
  1. Wireless settings
  2. Remote settings
  3. Image Capture counter, Image Capture behavior.
  4. Display Calibration.
  5. Date & Time.
  6. User Registration.

To load a Profile via SD card:

  1. Download this example profile
  2. Save the profile “smallhd.cnf” to desired SD card (save directly to root folder)
  3. Insert SD card in 500 Series monitor
  4. Navigate to Settings -> Profiles -> LOAD PROFILE FROM SD CARD

* We recommend using the same SD card for your Profile and 3D LUTs (3D LUTs can be organized into folders; Profiles should be stored in a folder).

7.  Image Capture can now capture the image with the active LUT applied.

  1. Settings->Capture->Image Capture
  2. By default, it behaves the same as always, suppressing any active LUTs before capturing the image.
  3. Through the settings menu, users may now choose not to suppress the current LUT before capturing an image, and that image will be stored with the LUT applied.
  4. This Settings menu item also allows resetting the monitor’s auto-incrementing counter used when naming captured image files.

Notes: This feature works best with 1080p signals (1080i support available soon).

8.  Anamorphic 1.5x Option Added

9.  Audio Meters Opacity Setting Added

Bugs fixed

  • HDMI compatibility improvements
  • Zebra: IRE Range change from [-2 → 107] to [-7→109]
  • Focus assist accuracy improved

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

JVC announce firmware V2 for GY-LS300 (September 2015)

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments


JVC Professional Video, a division of JVC KENWOOD USA Corporation, today announced the Version 2.0 firmware upgrade for its GY-LS300 4KCAM handheld Super 35 camcorder. The upgrade adds a “JVC Log” mode that practically duplicates the look of film, plus new Cinema 4K and Cinema 2K recording modes, a unique Prime Zoom feature that uses the camera’s innovative technology to allow zoom capabilities when using prime lenses, and a histogram. Free for all current owners, the upgrade will be available in September 2015.

With the new JVC Log mode, the GY-LS300 delivers wide latitude and high dynamic range – up to 800 percent – to rival the look of film. The camera’s Super 35 CMOS sensor delivers a higher contrast ratio between dark and bright areas within the frame without saturation while providing details within highlights and shadows. V2.0 also adds 4096×2180 Cinema 4K and 2048×1080 Cinema 2K recording modes at various frame rates, each with a 17:9 aspect ratio for digital cinema presentations.

Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, but the GY-LS300’s new Prime Zoom feature takes advantage of JVC’s unique Variable Scan Mapping technology, which was created to electronically adapt the active area of the camera’s image sensor to provide native support of various lenses when paired with third-party lens adapters. When used with a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) prime lens, the image can be adjusted between the maximum scan area and minimum scan area using the camera’s zoom rocker. As a result, the camera can deliver 2.3x maximum zoom for HD or 1.25x maximum zoom for 4K. The new Prime Zoom feature can also be used as a lens extender for zoom lenses.


Version 2.0 adds a histogram display, which is useful for checking the exposure by showing the brightness distribution of the image. The function is accessed through a convenient user button, and the range can be set to provide top and bottom limits. Beyond a histogram, V2.0 adds a color matrix adjustment, spot meter for setting exposure values, and black paint setting to precisely adjust color temperature of master black. Additional performance and streaming enhancements include a new 70Mbps recording mode, which makes it possible to record 4K on economical Class 10 SDHC/SDXC memory cards.

“We listened to our customers and made sure this firmware upgrade delivered the features they wanted, as well as recording modes specifically designed for the 4K digital cinema market,” said Craig Yanagi, manager of marketing and brand strategy, JVC Professional Video. “The GY-LS300 will also have the unique ability to use a prime lens as a zoom lens, which gives shooters even more shooting flexibility.” Note : Available during September 2015

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

A Monday morning timelapse

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


Saw this last evening and thought it was pretty awesome considering the photographer has been using his gear for only 2 years.

Edge of Stability from Jeff Boyce on Vimeo.

This entire timelapse sequence was recording between May and June of 2015. During this time, I managed to arrange about 5 weeks off from my regular job as a Police Officer in California, and set out in my truck with no particular destination in mind. I had only picked up photography as a hobby within the last couple years, and this was my first year ever recording or producing timelapse videos. Having always been very interested in severe weather, nature, and traveling, I picked up storm chasing during spring of 2014. I spent a few weeks in 2014 traveling and photographing storms, but without a solid goal or understanding of the concepts of photography. My interest in timelapse photography of storms stemmed from seeing Nicolaus Wegner’s “Stormscapes” videos around this time.

This year, I set out with much better equipment, more ambition, and a solid goal – to produce the timelapse compilation that became “Edge of Stability”. Using the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center outlooks (SPC), I was able to see generally where and what type of severe weather would occur during the next few days. Twitter also became a huge part of my decision making process – following the posts of more experienced storm chasers and meteorologists. I drove over 600+ miles some days in order to reach areas where the environment would be favorable for severe weather. Typically the most intense weather occurs during late afternoon and into the night, so there wasn’t a whole lot of sleeping – but it was worth it.

I ended up traveling through California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and into Manitoba, Canada. Most of this time was spent car-camping in my truck (I had removed the back seat and built a sleeping platform and storage compartments), but got a hotel room every few days. During breaks where there was less severe weather, I got a chance to photograph the Milky Way and other landscape scenes. I even, on a whim, decided to drive into Canada and attempt to see the Northern Lights for the first time. This paid off – and I was incredibly lucky to see brilliant displays of the Aurora Borealis both nights I spent in Manitoba. It even made getting detained by Canadian immigration officials for a couple hours and searched at the border worth it!

By the end of my journey, I ended up with about 70,000 individual high resolution photos. Having recorded up to 8,000 photos per day, I had to buy two 4GB external hard drives just to keep up. I also had to edit and save each day’s clips as I went. I used Adobe Creative Cloud’s Lightroom and Premiere Pro – but even these phenomenal programs would take hours to compile timelapse sequences only seconds long. I set up my Dell XPS 15 laptop to run off my vehicle’s electrical system, and was able to let it work for the hours each day I spent driving.

Once I arrived back home in California, I began the long process of sorting, categorizing, and ranking my sequences. I had SO many photos that probably less than 30% of my content made it into “Edge of Stability”. In fact, to this day I still haven’t even converted about 20% of the photos into timelapse videos.

As far as the technical parts of how I produced the video: I used two Canon 6D’s paired with a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, Rokinon 24mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8, Tamron 70-300 f/4.5-5.6, and a Canon 50mm f/1.8. I used a Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH Tripod with a GH-100 Grip Head, and it worked great. When doing two sequences at once, the second camera sat on a cheaper and more frustrating tripod I picked up from Costco a year earlier. I installed “Magic Lantern” software onto my cameras which allowed me to use an internal intervalometer and not have to purchase two extra external devices. “Magic Lantern”, a sort of software hack on the camera, came with a number of issues – but it got the job done and did it well. The timelapse sequences were recorded with a RAW photo taken between every 2 seconds to every minute. The type of shot, movement in what I was photographing, and lightning conditions all played into this. Rapidly evolving supercell thunderstorms were recorded every 2 seconds in order to capture as much detail as possible and to create the longest clip in the shortest amount of time. On the other hand, I would leave my cameras on a mountainside exposing the Milky Way all night long, and might set the cameras to record a 20 second exposure every minute until the batteries ran out.

I had to return to reality eventually, but I plan to make it back out to capture more images as soon as possible! All of the compliments I’ve received have been very motivational, and I plan to continue to improve and challenge myself!

Thanks for watching! :)
Twitter & Instagram: @negative_tilt

Email: (Please contact for commercial/broadcast licensing)

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

NEW Canon ME20F-SH “Box camera” (£19,251- $30.000)

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

ME20 title

Looks like we are getting an influx of wee square box cameras from various manufacturers, ARRI being the first. Canon have now jumped on the “Very expensive box camera” with the ME20F-SH. No doubt you will see the ME20F on a drone with an external recorder attached. Its all about adding to your tool kit, if this wee box fits a purpose then it will no doubt be a great asset…assuming you can afford one !

ME20 back1084924510 copy

Canons press release:

I am very excited to announce that today Canon has launched the ME20F-SH, a video camera which boasts an industry leading unrivalled maximum ISO of 4 million (+75dB). Our previous highest ISO for a product was 204,800 on the Canon EOS 1-DC.

A professional video camera capable of capturing full colour images in low-light environments, ME20F-SH is able to support image capture in situations where it previously would not have been possible. It is ideal for use within applications such as TV productions of night time wildlife, deep sea / cave exploration, astronomy and surveillance.

Key Product Features

  • 4 Million ISO allowing for ultra-low light performance
  • High quality Full HD output
  • Newly developed full frame 35mm with 2.26MP CMOS sensor & DIGIC 4 Processor
  • Includes Canon Log and Wide DR settings
  • Compatible with a wide range of EF lenses
  • Remote control of camera settings

BM box

At £669 the Blackmagic Cinema Camera with MTF mount will be hard to beat. Full HD plus inbuilt recorder and Canon LP-E6 battery mount.

HDW : At a whopping £19.251 pounds for the Canon ME20F-SH this is far more specialised than a stock camera at Production Gear or H Preston Media, this will be an order only camera or a rental special. We all know Canon will release a 4K version next year but at £19K I really think Canon are kidding themselves asking this price for an HD only camera…no matter how good its low light capabilities are !

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

First footage out of Japan with the Panasonic DVX-200 4K camcorder

Categories: Miscellaneous 7 Comments

First Footage

A video has surfaced from Panasonic, Japan, showing us some of the first footage from the new DVX-200 4K camcorder, I would have liked a lot more colour and low light shots, personally.

KYOTO – A Panasonic AG-DVX200 short film from Sebastian Wiegärtner on Vimeo.

Director of Photography:
Sebastian Wiegärtner

Finally online! The worldwide first footage of the brand new Panasonic AG-DVX200!

Shot on a pre production model in UHD resolution and 50p. Sadly the compression of Vimeo and YouTube is so high, you just really can’t judge the image. All I can say: This is the perfect camera for Documentaries and fast TV work stuff, where you have to be fast and where you still want to achieve a cinematic image. Due to the M4/3 sensor it’s way easier to focus than with a Super 35 or Full Frame sensor. Almost everything shot full wide open. Native ISO of this camera is 500.

I used the flat V-Log profile, applied VariCam 35 Rec 709 and graded everything very hard + added some grain to the footage. This was shot during the Panasonic #DVX4Ktour. Shot on Location in Kyoto, Japan.

Christofer Wong – Driftin in the Rain

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

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