Replacing the Sony FS7 Loupe diopter from +1 to +3

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


During BVE I met a chap who also had a Sony FS7 and told me how he had changed the diopter in the loupe. Although not marked the original diopter is a 1:1 magnification which is as minimal as you can get.

This is why older eyes like mine are finding it hard to see focus and the beauty of this re-engenering is its simplicity.


All you need to do is buy a 52mm +3 Hoya close up lens and unscrew the original, replacing it with the far better optics of the HOYA close up lens…job done. Now its so much easier to see focus all for the cost of about £20.

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

4K Studio for £20,000 !

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments


Anyone contemplating a new studio set-up for education, look no further, this deal from Holdan is fantastic, all using BlackMagic gear.

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

Sony’s PXW-X70…”Toy town 4K” Updated (Comments now closed)

Categories: Miscellaneous 53 Comments


Sony have seriously misjudged the backlash with the up and coming firmware upgrade, and the over the top price X70 owners are having to pay for a measly licence that many of us insist should have shipped with the camera from day one.

Assuming you need 4K 25p, 420 8bit footage you are expected to pay Sony a further 485 Euros for the pleasure…no chance. At least two of my colleagues own two X70s and they are thinking of now selling them on as the price for 2 licences… a whopping 970 euros is far too dear in their opinion.

To add insult to injury the AX100 (X70 domestic clone) came with 4K as standard and is being updated in March 2015 “The FDR-AX100 will also support XAVC S 4K 100Mbps high-bitrate recording through a firmware update scheduled for March 2015.”

While the PROFESSIONAL PXW-X70 will only support 60Mbps in 4K…this is shocking. Sony do say the following “We are looking to support a higher bit-rate recording mode than 60 Mbps for 3840×2160 XAVC-L in the future

A word from one of my readers “February 24, 2015, came the news that soon will be released an update for PXW-X70 will be available 4K resolution. Just judging by the presented data, the owners of professional cameras PXW-X70 will be able to improve their equipment to the level of consumer camera AX100, with PAYMENT ???? While AX100 will soon receive improved characteristics with 4K. Correct me if I’m wrong.”

This is turning into a “Marketing Disaster” for Sony Broadcast and I for one will not be paying 485 euros for any 4K 25p frame rate. Panasonic on the other hand recently gave all their Panasonic PX270 users a late Christmas present by giving away their AVC Ultra 200 codec for free, when it was rumoured to cost at least 2500 euros.

I love my PXW-X70 and XAVC HD 1080 50p works fine for me but a lot of disgruntled X70 users are becoming very angry at not only the time it has taken Sony to arrive at the 4K licence price but the unfairness of it all compared to the AX100 !

Lets look at the Mbps of other 4K camcorders…

Sony PXW-FS7 = Best quality 4K @ 600Mbps

Sony PXW-Z100 = Best quality 4K @ 600Mbps

Panasonic HC-X1000 = 150 Mbps

Panasonic GH4 = 100Mbps

JVC GY-LS300 = 150Mbps

Sony domestic FDR-AX100 = 100Mbps (FW coming June)

Does anyone think we are going to get top notch 4K footage at 60Mbps when Sony have already announced a FW update for the domestic AX100 upping it to 100Mbps…sorry but I really feel so angry that Sony Broadcast think professional camera operators will put up with this outrageously bad afterthought when their domestic partners are walking all over us…seriously very poor marketing Sony Broadcast !!!

Further thoughts :

What were we waiting for, the price, we knew that would be over the top and we were right. I thought Sony were working on some amazing professional codec that would give us a minimum 150-200 Mbps XAVC 4K, after all…We the end user bought into the fact that our X70s are “professional camcorders”. I also hoped we would get other codecs like XAVC I for HD work, allowing me to bypass Catalyst Prepare. SDXC speed 3 cards would cope with 150Mbps easily I use them in my X70, A7s and GH4 all the time.

Sonys announcement was a roller coaster for me but to pay so much for so little in return is not cricket.

Update : Before we go into the realms of fantasy the X70 is a 422 10bit HD camcorder but is not capable of processing 422 10bit 4K footage, thats why you buy an FS7 !


Why are we still bickering about 422/420, this video has been pointed out to me as a “Sony said 422″ yet in the same German video there is a graphic stating quite clearly UHD is 420 8bit, this was recorded during IBC 2014.

4K in the PXW-X70 is 420, 8bit end of story.

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

BVE 2015 Interviews…LED Lighting with Lite Panels and Photon Beard

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments


LED lighting just gets better every year and no more so than lite Panels one of the leading companies in LED technology.


The Astra 1×1 Bi Colour is no exception with a tremendous light output and has a TLCI result of 95 (Daylight), 95 (Tungsten) which is almost perfect.


Photon Beard from Bedfordshire are makers of very high quality LED, tube and HDMI lighting, MD Peter Daffarn is such a knowledgeable man and is very passionate about his product.


The PhotonBeam 80 Red Head LED light is a fantastic bit of kit and scored 95 for their daylight phosphor on the official TLCI readings.

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

BVE Interviews…Alister Chapman talks about FW v2 for the Sony PXW-FS7

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


First of our BVE exclusive interviews is with Alister Chapman talking about Sony’s new V2 firmware for the PXW-FS7 out at the end of March 2015.


Alister explains why the XQD series of cards comes with its own card reader.


Going over the questions with Alister, we use the PXW-FS7 for the main interview filming XAVC I at 1080 50p 185Mbps and the Sony PXW-X70 filming 1080 50p XAVC HD (LongGOP) can you tell the difference.

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

BVE Day 3 and show round up

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


Den Lennie from F-Stop Academy was delivering interviews for Kit Plus today that were being transmitted all over BVE and the US.


The Photon Beam 80 was the RED HEAD LED light of the show for me as it has a hidden feature, without the phosphor disc you get a fantastic rich blue light, great for a background wash. It also has a TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) of 95 which is a fantastic score. WARNING : If you buy this LED light you MUST NEVER point the raw blue LEDs at anyone as they are very dangerous to the retina (back of your eye). Price £759


The RODE Link was the audio feature of the show, pure digital sound for £300 is a snip and even although the transmitter is a tad chunky the quality of sound output is extremely clean.


Quality German Schneider XENON glass was my pick of the show but at around £3000 per lens you need to have big pockets to afford them.


No doubt the Sony PXW-FS7 was the camera of the show, everyone wants an FS7. I told at least 6 Canon C300 owners to wait till NAB to see what Canon has to announce.


Another very popular camera at the show was the ARRI Alexa mini, even at £25,000 everyone wanted to have a look at this wee full spec Super 35mm camera.


My camera of the show was the JVC GY-LS300 4K camcorder, JVC have pitched this Super 35mm sensor camera at a great price of £2600 and with a micro four thirds mount you have a ton of glass to choose from.


Loved this wee chap the BuggyCam which was on slow mode riding around the CVP stand, you can hire this wee chap from


This handheld gimble from Shape was another show stopper and so easy to use at £500 its a steal. I took it round BVE and it was flawless.


The Alphatron Bi Colour light was the camera top light of the show, its extremely robust, priced at £180 and has a TLCI of 84 (Television Lighting Consistency Index) which is extremely high score for any camera light.


Least I forget the new range of windshields from Rycote. The Cyclone is a furry less windshield thats so easy to remove and works a treat, it lists at £416.

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

BVE 2015 Day TWO

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments


Could not resist this headline, CVP have enlisted the services of Percy S Diaz a fantastic ice sculptor who hand carved this wonderful ice sculpture of the Sony FS7.


While visiting CVP I managed to bump into Badger the roving reporter who knows his fstops from his frame rates. Badger was producing a show special with intern Alex using a Sony PMW-200.


Rob Tarrant from Panasonic was on hand to give us the update on the VariCam HS 4K camcorder.


Finally we get to see the Panasonic VariCam with a 4K Super 35mm sensor and a Fujinon lens to die for.


Filming Tim at Rycote, showing us the new Cyclone that is the result of more than a decade of continuous development.


Next up was a trip back to Sony to ask the price of the PXW-X70 4K upgrade, now the upgrade is free but you need to buy a licence to enable 4K 25p on your camera. The tentative price is around 485 euros.

We have a JVC lens cloth up for grabs, how many LEDs make up this screen and its over 100,000.


Spencer from Lite Panels was on hand to show me their new panel light which is extremely powerful and retails about the £900 mark.


Adobe had a very impressive 3.9mm LED wall from CUE AV Ltd. This is the future of large panel presentations. Contact Max at


Photon Beard and yes I did ask but its only a coincidence he has a beard, have produced this very sexy red head.


Photon Beard say they took a long time to enter the LED market because they believed that a lot of the LED lights did not offer good enough light quality. They spent a lot of time perfecting their LEDs and the result is the PhotonBeam 80 LED. Based on remote phosphor technology the new fixture offers a near full spectrum and a high CRI light output. Interestingly from the outside it looks like an old school redhead – they have adapted their PhotonBeam Redhead casing to offer an LED solution. Consuming just 80W it provides similar output to a 300W openface Redhead. The unit can be powered from mains or 11-17 Volt DC. The PhotonBeam 80 can operate on standard V or Gold mount camera batteries with an additional battery plate that connects to the unit.

So that it from BVE 2015 I will produce a best of show tomorrow and some thoughts on the various bits of kit at the show.


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

Further thoughts on the Sony 28-135mm f4 lens and V2 software

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments


I am using BVE as a testing ground for the Sony FS7 and I soon realised the pitfalls of using the 28-135 lens for interviews.


Alister Chapman was virtually our first interview of the day, fortunately we have the PXW-X70 with us as a roving second camera to cut in and out of.

In order to get anywhere close to a mid shot you are having to position yourself further away than you would normally and the problem this causes in a busy environment is Alister being able to hear my questions.


Fortunately I had the Sony 10-18mm f4 lens with me that was far more useful for this type of interview. People at trade shows are often demonstrating kit and having a slightly looser shot is more advantageous.


Interestingly Dan Chungs cameraman was using the 24-70mm f2.8 Sony A mount lens for their interviews.

Sony also announced V2 FS7 firmware roadmap yesterday which is a free upgrade…

New Features & Improvements:

Support for 4K (4096×2160) XAVC-I Recording
The FS7 now supports XAVC-I 4K (4096 x 2160) recording, a capability that opens up new possibilities not only for the production of documentaries and programs, but also for a wide range of professional applications. The corresponding frame rates and bit rates are listed below.

Format Resolution Wrap Quality Frame Rate Bit Rate
XAVC-I 4096 x 2160 MXF 4:2:2 10bit 59.94p 600Mbps
29.97p 300Mbps
23.98p 240Mbps
50p 500Mbps
25p 250Mbps

Support for ProRes Recording
The FS7 now supports ProRes recording* (ProRes 422 HQ and ProRes 422)**, providing an easy-to-use environment for those accustomed to the ProRes workflow. The corresponding frame rates are listed below.

* ProRes recording requires attachment of the optional XDCA-FS7 extension unit and a compatible optional power supply (BP-FL75 V-mount battery, etc.)
** This function does not support simultaneous recording, S&Q recording, Picture Cache Rec or other special shooting functions.

Format Resolution Wrap Frame Rate
ProRes 422 HQ 1920 x 1080 MOV 59.94i
ProRes 422 1920 x 1080 MOV 59.94i
Support for 4-channel Audio Input and Recording
The FS7 supports 4-channel audio input. In applications such as an interview, this function enables the simultaneous use of an external microphone for recording ambient sounds, the built-in microphone for voice memos by the operator, and two optional UWP Series wireless microphones for voice of interviewer and interviewee.In addition, by the use of an optional XLR adapter “XLR-K2M” which provides additional 2 XLR inputs, possible applications are further expanded.PXW-FS7 V2 Firmware will be downloadable during March 2015

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

BVE 2015 Day ONE

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


Day one at BVE was exhausting, even with three of us 2 filming and 1 photographer, the FS7 and all the ancillary gear is a lot to humph round a show like BVE.


First port of call was Production Gear one of HD Warriors sponsors, Simon (above) was on hand to show me the latest copter the DJ Inspire with 4K and 1080 50p camera on board.


Next stop was Sony where Alister Chapman gave us an insight to the up and coming Sony FS7 firmware where we hope the majority of bugs will be tweaked out. Talking to Sony about the 28-135 servo zoom lens they are hoping to do something about the 4 second fast zoom speed in a further FW.


Next we interviewed the product manager for the Alexa mini camera, next to interview him was my good friend Dan Chung.

LS300-JVCJVC were showing off their new 4K camcorder the LS300, they also told me they would send me one up for review.


Octica had a very nifty GoPro stabiliser which works a treat and just in case you want one its £500 plus vat…fantastic.


My other site sponsor, Holdan, had some interesting show stoppers the best for me was the Alphatron camera light that claims to be almost indestructible.



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

News from BVE…The ARRI Alexa mini £25,400

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments


Interesting move from ARRI, the new Alexa mini, I suspect its to combat the one major problem with the Alexa in general…its a big heavy camera. No doubt DoP’s have been feeding back to ARRI about a smaller lighter camera with the same specs as the bigger camera for more interesting shots.


Camera type 35 format film-style digital camera with lightweight and compact carbon body, 4:3/16:9 switchable active sensor area, support for ARRI MVF-1 viewfinder, built-in remote control capabilities via ARRI Electronic Control System and Wi-Fi, support for cforce motors, built-in motorized ND filters, interchangable lens mounts and ARRI Lens Data System
Dimensions Length: 185 mm/7.3″
Width: 125 mm/4.9″
Height: 140 mm/5.5″
(camera body with PL lens mount)
Weight ~ 2.3 kg/5 lbs (camera body with titanium PL lens mount)
Sensor 35 mm format ARRI ALEV III CMOS with Bayer pattern color filter array
Photo sites
(with surround view)
HD: 2880×1620 (3168×1772)
2K: 2868×1612 (3154×1764)
3.2K: 3200×1800 (3424×1926)
4K UHD: 3200×1800 (3424×1926)4:3
2K: 2867×2150 (3168×2160) *
Shutter Electronic shutter, 5.0° to 356.0°
Exposure latitude 14+ stops over the entire sensitivity range from EI 160 to EI 3200
as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC-1)
Exposure index EI 800 base sensitivity
Filters Built-in motorized ND filters 0.6, 1.2, 2.1
Lens mounts Titanium PL mount with L-Bus connector and LDS
EF mount
PL mount with Hirose connector and LDS
B4 mount with Hirose connector
Recording media CFast 2.0 memory cards
Recording formats HD 1920×1080
2K Cine 16:9 2048×1152
2K Cine 4:3 2048×1536 *
3.2K 3200×1800
4K UHD 3840×2160
ARRIRAW 2.8K 16:9 2880×1620 *
ARRIRAW 2.8K 4:3 2880×2160 *
Recording codec ProRes 4444XQ, 4444, 422 (HQ), 422, 422(LT), ARRIRAW *
Recording frame rates
Recording Format Maximum Frame Rate in fps (1)
Sensor Mode Recording File Type Recording Resolution (2) Recording File Setting Internal Recording External Recorder
CFast 2.0 128 GB Codex
16:9 ProRes HD 422 200 -
422 HQ 200 -
4444 200 -
4444 XQ 120 -
2K Cine 422 200 -
422 HQ 200 -
4444 200 -
4444 XQ 120 -
3.2K 422 60 -
422 HQ 60 -
4444 60 -
4444 XQ 30 -
4K UHD 422 60 -
422 HQ 60 -
4444 60 -
4444 XQ 30 -
ARRIRAW** 2.8K 30 120
4:3** ProRes 2K Cine 422 150 -
422 HQ 150 -
4444 120 -
4444 XQ 60 -
ARRIRAW 2.8K Full 30 60
2.6K Cropped 30 60

** available with SUP 2.0
(1) Minimum frame rate is always 0.75 fps
(2) The “recording resolution” determines the number of horizontal pixels that will be recorded (the number of vertical pixels is dependent on the recording file type and sensor mode)

Color output Rec 709, custom look or Log C
Look control Import of custom 3D LUT, ASC CDL parameter (slope, offset, power, saturation)
Adjustable image parameters Knee, gamma, saturation, black gamma, saturation by hue
Focus and exposure control Peaking, zebra, false color
White balance Manual and auto white balance
Sound level < 20 dB(A) at standard frame rates
Environmental -20° C to +50° C (-4° F to +122° F) @ 95% humidity max, non-condensing
Splash and dust-proof through sealed electronics
Viewfinder Multi Viewfinder MVF-1 (OLED and LCD ) with flip-out LCD screen
and military-grade connector to camera
Control interface Soft buttons and OSD on SDI output,
integration of Transvideo StarliteHD touch interface *
ARRI lens motor control Built-in radio interface for ARRI lens control
L-Bus motor output for daisy-chainable cforce lens control motors
Wi-Fi remote control Built-in Wi-Fi interface and web-based remote control from phones,
tablets and laptops
Custom control Optional GPIO interface for integration with custom control interfaces
Power input Lemo 8-pin, 10.5-34 V DC
Video outputs 2x HD-SDI out 1.5G and 3G: uncompressed HD video with embedded audio
and metadata, SDI-6G interface to external CODEX recorder *
Inputs SDI-Genlock (optional activation through ARRI Service),
timecode (in and output)
Other interfaces USB 2.0 (for usersets, looks etc.)
EXT accessory interface w. RS pin

* may not be available at product launch, but will become available as a software upgrade later in 2015


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 ... 186 187 188 Next

%d bloggers like this: