My wee documentary for the Barr’s Pop up Shop

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I spent 3 days last week filming around the city centre of Glasgow, mainly at the Merchant city capturing the essence of the Barr’s Pop up Shop. All profits from the shop go to support a new Hospice for Glasgow.




The city has never looked better, very cosmopolitan.


All footage was shot on my Panasonic GH4’s though I do have to admit using the YAGH with a gun mic does slow up the whole process.

1080 50p @ 200Mbps…fantastic !


Scottish sisters Kimberley and Louise Renicks came to the Barr’s Pop up Shop to show off their well earned gold medals.

Here is my wee documentary…enjoy.

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

CAMBO eyecup proves popular “sold out”

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These CAMBO eyecups are proving to be very popular so much so they have temporarily sold out, they are exclusive meantime to HD Warrior and only sold via our on-line shop.

You can pre order an eyecup and I will only take your money when its back in stock. eMail

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

“Let the games begin” GH4 pictures

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Here is a range of pictures taken with the GH4, this is a very capable photographic camera and with a speed 3 class 10 SDXC card inserted you can run 12fps for about 7 seconds…fantastic.

The picture above was caught with a 35-100mm f2.8 Lumix lens set at 100mm @ f2.8 shutter at a 30th sec at 12fps



David Smile Girl flag-bearer Wee-lamb CycleBaton

All the pictures above used the Lumix 35-100mm f2.8 lens with the action shots set at 12fps auto tracking.



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

Glasgow a great 4m video from the “Big Yin”

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As Glasgow enters “Commonwealth Games Mode” the city has been transformed, this 4m video shot with Billy Connolly one of the Commonwealth ambassadors is a great tribute to a great city.

PS. If you shot this let me know , any background info and pics greatly received.

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

Shocking pictures from BBC Network news

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


Working this morning I had the telly on in the background watching the live inserts for the Commonwealth Games when I noticed this 2 shot.

I suspect its from an unmanned dome camera but the perspex or camera lens was filthy, this is certainly NOT the quality of pictures you expect from the BBC.

It’s slack and poor production values that cause this type of picture to appear on mainstream television…did no one check or care that the picture was substandard or as I suspect the damage was inside the lens.

main-camIn fact looking at this again it’s the main camera you would not dare use a remote dome camera as a main live camera so the lens was dirty…shocking.

Get your act together BBC filthy lenses is a total lack of care and NOT ACCEPTABLE !!!

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

GH4 User Review “the bits I left out”

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Video reviews can not only take a while to produce but editorially you can’t include everything, my reasons for leaving some information out like future features and flaws are this blog and making the review watchable.

I decided this time to let you see a variety of shots and situations and leave the nitty gritty to a blog post.


Strangely the YAGH stops the LCD from swivelling and can cause your tripod locking mechanism problems though Manfrotto do give you the ability to overcome this with a locking nut you can adjust.

The sound monitor output is set to REC SOUND only when a micro HDMI or the YAGH is attached causing a small delay in the sound, this may be fixable in a future firmware upgrade. (This was explained in the video).

The rolling shutter is worse in 4K mode, this does not surprise me as the chip is at its outer limits of its own technology in order to deliver an internal 4K recordable image.

The GH4 is noisier in higher gain than my previous Canon C300, once again in my opinion you are asking a lot of the technology to record fantastic pictures at 4K without something suffering. I do realise the Sony A7s with its full frame sensor does exceed low light expectations but is flawed like the C500 by not recording 4K internally.

The micro 4/3 sensor is by its nature not as good as a full frame sensor for shallow depth of field but the inclusion of the 42.5mm f1.2 Leica lens is hard to beat.


Future features

As a video tool it would help if you could disable the back thumb wheel or have the ability to lock the shutter, the GH4 like it’s sister the GH3 is all buttons and wheels with your thumb hitting most of them at the least appropriate time.

I would like a smoother more responsive aperture, adjusting the exposure during a live production is a nightmare. Unlike a professional video lens the GH4 uses photographic lenses that are made for photography rather than video so racking up or down the aperture is very noticeable.

I would prefer some indication from the back of the camera that I was in record mode, how easy would it have been to add a front and back tally light to the YAGH.

A definite feature for the 10bit GH5″ must be a second SD card slot this would be very useful and the exclusion of the tiresome 30 minute record restriction.

With 2 SD card slots you could also copy your cameras picture profile allowing you to use it on a second “GH5″ saving a ton of set up time while using 2 cameras.

A major pain is the cameras lack of information during record mode, please stop the LCD information from timing out after 19 seconds in a firmware update.

Like all DSLRs the GH4 being no exception the lack of ND filters is a major pain during a sunny day especially as you want to keep your shutter to 1/50th of a second. Panasonic could take note by adding a slot behind the lens as was used in the 16mm Eclair during the 1980s.

HDW : These were scripted and recorded but not used as I decided it would extend the video beyond 20m and would make the back end rather boring.


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

The Panasonic GH4 User Review (RT 18m)

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Me clyde

The opening sequence was filmed with a 7-14mm f4 Lumix lens at the 14mm end making sure all the action is in silhouette. This “User Review” has taken an age to film and edit and I only concentrate on the video capabilities of the camera.

98% of all footage was shot with 1-2 GH4′s and the odd cutaway shot with the GH3. Although the camera is more than capable viewfinder wise, sunny daylight shots are certainly improved with the use of a loupe, something I was not in favour of before I saw the “light”.

On the whole we used a Cambo loupe which was a pre production model that needs some tweaking to fit the LCD screen.

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

BBC strike called off pending a successful day of renegotiations.

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Now I am better informed here is a more factual account…BBC employees wages have been frozen by austerity cuts for many years now whilst we continue to see executives, managers and senior ‘government appointed’ BBC trust members help themselves to salaries and benefit packages that would make Donald Trump jealous, this is primarily why BBC employees are hacked off and threatening strike action.


Why I no longer belong to a union ?

I was once in the ACTT and while working in Radio Clyde we were called to a union meeting in the board room…”STV are out on strike how do we plan to follow this” was the battle cry of the union leader…then Jimmy Gordon entered the room the MD of Radio Clyde and said “If anyone from this station goes out on strike you will be dismissed” and walked out the room.

Deathly silence then Colin the union rep stands up and says “OK lads it’s clear none of us want to lose our jobs so we will write to STV and tell them they have our full sympathy but unfortunately can’t follow them with strike action”.

That was the last time I attended any union meeting and had nothing but admiration for Jimmy Gordon for bringing a potentially bad situation to an abrupt halt, this was thirty years ago  seemingly this would not happen today.



BBC Employee “As to the timing of this proposed 12 hour walk out, unfortunate maybe, but threatening coverage of high profile events WILL make management take notice, threatening transmission of the 9 O’ Clock news and Eastenders WILL NOT.”

HDW : This blog started off very biased towards union touting “we want more money” greedy workers to a more informed blog about an ordinary, overworked workforce who have watched management take the cream while the technicians etc get the scraps.

Sadly this happens all over industry, the managers get the Audi’s, bigger salaries and all the perks while the under appreciated workers get a bus home, the BBC like the NHS has an abundance of overpaid management levels stuck in their rooms with never-ending pointless meetings trying to justify their right to exist.

It’s poor in 2014 when a workforce is so undervalued that the word strike and unions raise their ugly heads less than a week before the Commonwealth Games and worse still having to use the games as your only bargaining chip…WAKE UP BBC MANAGEMENT….TALK TO THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER…AND STOP HIDING BEHIND COMMITTEES AND MEETINGS !

UPDATE : BBC strike called off pending a successful day of renegotiations. Union members to be consulted regarding new pay offer. So the Commonwealth Games opener will be transmitted as normal.


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

Panasonic GH4 User Review this week

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

GH4 Review teaser

Reviews take time to film and edit in between paying jobs so please be patient, this is a still from my opening sequence all shot in silhouette. NOTE : This User Review only covers the video side of the GH4.

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

Opinion “ADOBE’s Creative Cloud is losing customers”

Categories: Miscellaneous 14 Comments



At the best part of £43 a month Adobe’s Creative Cloud is losing customers not helped by the major hacking scandal a few months ago when we were told to change our passwords ASAP.

On a daily routine I never use Premiere Pro or many of the APPs given as part of the monthly subscription known as the “Creative Cloud”.

I do need Encore which is Adobe’s DVD authoring program but Adobe don’t see a future for Encore and stopped supporting it over 18 months ago. I also use Photoshop which Adobe has recently packaged at about £8 per month to include Lightroom.

If I could get a single copy of Encore I could swap over to the cheaper £8 package saving me £35 a month.

Many of my colleagues are in a similar boat but having PCs are intending to move over to Edius 7 at £461 plus vat. Edius is capturing more than just the imagination now that Adobe are set on continuing with the cloud system of software delivery.

Alistair “I have Premiere 5.5 and have spent in the region of £2K over the last few years upgrading from one version to another but being locked into a subscription  with Adobe does nothing for me other than to look else ware. I have heard a lot of good things about Edius but as usual don’t know anyone who has the program to let me see it before I buy a copy.”

Last month Adobe had a major server problem causing no end of problems with peoples subscriptions and gave a lot of us time to re-think this cloud business.

For many professionals £43 a month is not a vast sum of money to pay for a major editing platform plus all the other goodies the CC entitles you to download but it’s more the principal of being locked into a never-ending increasing subscription scheme that annoys people.

Adobe are already changing the goal posts with there Photoshop deal, lets hope they can broker more deals like this to keep their world wide 3.5 million subscriptions…live !


Matt “As Adobe Premiere Pro is neither my key edit platform nor a regular one, I too am Leaving the Creative Cloud sincere introductory rate is ending. I simply do not get the value.

I am returning to CS6, which provides all I need without the commitment and the complications. The Internet based license checking had disaster on two occasions when needing to edit far from an Internet connection. Adobe’s billing system is prone to forget key details like rolling subscriptions. I had to revert to FCPX on both jobs.

So, as I have spent more time updating and managing the software than actually using it, I am ditching Creative Cloud, unless clients specify it and I will add an appropriate charge to cover short term rental.

There was a time when a freelance editor would manage three packages to remain fluent on their clients’ chosen platforms. Adobe Creative Cloud’s cost structure assumes that this is the primary platform, come what may. Or, cynically, people will err more to CC in order to get value from it and this starve other platforms.

Final Cut Pro X is getting better and better at longer projects and in handling greater numbers or durations of assets. In the earlier years, this was not the forte of FCPX, and Adobe Premiere was a backup that did “grown up” things like BITC and key frames colour correction.

Whilst we’re still waiting for a few needed features in FCPX, the Adobe Creative Cloud experience – for this user at least – a trial that didn’t work out well. Increasing cost, strident licensing that doesn’t understand the current lack of Internet, the security breeches and loss of private info, the upward cost spiral and the truculent billing system that required three hour tech support chats add up to a ‘thanks but no thanks’.

A return to CS6 is not a long term fix, though. I fear that planned obsolescence is a part of Aobe’s plans, and who knows what lies beyond Yosemite for Mac users such as I.

But I can’t bear the thought of not having Audition – nee CoolEdit Pro. Such a shame Adobe walled this in as a bundle – again, Adobe’s policy of only selling Suites may suit Adobe but not the users.

And you, Philip, using the DVD software part of CC – Encore was effectively hidden from CC users and required some research and fiddling to actually download and install software we were rightly entitled to. Encore was not visibly part of the Creative Cloud.

But these are just the crazed rants of a frustrated Mac user. Bon Voyage, all you CC users – and Adobe, you’re part of the reason I have to commit to FCPX.”


Sean “Even if your only program used was After Effects, $50/month is a great deal, considering that you would have to pay something like $900 outright for the package in the perpetual model. That means you are getting the same software for a year for only $600. Consider all of the additional updates and new features that they are now making each year.

If a user can’t make $50/month off of at least one of the many applications in Adobe CC, then they probably don’t deserve to have it anyway.

Did you bother to watch the annual release keynote? Did you see all of the new free pad apps including Adobe Line, Adobe Sketch and Photoshop Mix that now work with Photoshop, Illustrator and the like? You can mask out photos with your fingers, draw in Illustrator with a stylus on your iPad.

But seriously, why do I like Adobe CC? Because I can see from talking to them and from other events that I have attended that they are serious about supporting the big players in industry with their product, from the national and global news channels to the big studios. They have their ears open and are constantly improving. For instance, you can now color grade right in Premiere Pro, and not copy and paste the color grade to each subclip, just grade the main clip and it will flow to all the rest itself.

“Premiere Pro CC 2014 has Live Text templates making titling faster and easier, and features in-app access to Masking and Tracking features that were formerly exclusively the province of After Effects. With Master Clip Effects, an adjustment made to the Master Clip in your timeline — for instance, color correction — ripples down to every part of that clip in your sequence. Mercury Playback Engine performance has been improved, specifically its OpenCL performance, and Adobe has added a GPU-based debayering for RED media. It adds support for new camera formats as well as improving support for some other formats. Integration between Premiere and Speedgrade is improved, making working between the two faster and easier.”

I have been following you for years and I suppose I should not expect otherwise, you’ve always pretty much beat up on Adobe and Premiere Pro, but at least state it as opinion, rather than fact.”

HDW : Sean you may have paid $900 outright but it was yours, upgradable and you were not beholding to Adobe, remember £430 is this year what will it be 3 years down the road.

FCPX costs you £200, Motion 5 £35 and Compressor £35 one off downloads why can’t Adobe split their APPs into bite sized chunks like Apple then you only buy into what you use.

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

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