Comparing the GoPro 3 plus over the Sony HDR-AS100VR

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments


Having just received this FREE from Sony promotions for buying a Sony PXW-X70 I am assessing its picture quality over the GoPro 3 plus.

Firstly can I add that you have far more presets via the GoPro menu than you do over the Sony. The GoPro can be set for UK frame rates like 25p and 1080 50p while Sony have taken the lazy mans menu and made it US frame rates as default but thanks to my readers I have managed to worm my way through the menu system to change it to PAL, this can all be done on my iPhone via the GoPro !

I do like the monitor watch but you soon get to realise the iPhone is a far better viewing tool.


I think the GoPro 3 plus has many more advantages over the Sony not to mention the far more sophisticated menu system via your smart phone.

Even comparing the two cameras underwater housings the GoPro 3 plus is 40m while the Sony is only 16m. I do find that many cameramen/women become blinkered in the world of everything must come from the same manufacturer but there is no comparison between these two products the GoPro 3 plus is streets ahead.

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

Handheld or Shouldermount by Kevin Cook

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments


Kevin Cook “I’ve been shooting with the JVC GY-HM650 for over a year now and it’s become my go-to camera for many assignments. Being of handheld design, the camera is compact yet pro-feature rich, making it ideal for shooting conferences, newsgathering and any event where you need and all-in-one camera with professional connections and performance.

Since its launch the GY-HM650 has been an incredibly successful camera for JVC – a demonstration of which was its adoption by the BBC in 2013 when it purchased over 500 of them for newsgathering in the UK and overseas. But, as good as this camera is, there are still some applications where its handheld design makes it less than perfect. Whilst the camera is light and compact, the handheld design can be very tiring to use off-tripod for any length of time – which is true of any camera in this class.”

You can check out Kevin’s blog at

Handheld Vs Shoulder-Mount Video Cameras from Kevin Cook on Vimeo.

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

Working for Good Morning Britain on site for 5am

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


Arriving at 4.40am at Saltcoats this morning it was wild to do a live camera for Good Morning Britain.


Scott checked the weather and it was to get worse as the day drew on.


The OB truck was operated by Dave and he had a hell of a time teeing up the signal to the satellite and compound things not only the buffeting of the wind but the sea salt air was causing major problems, the truck would have to get a hose down after todays job.


Finally we were on the air at just after 7am our reporter Katy Rickett had just landed from her honeymoon 3 days ago from 28 degree heat to baltic.





Myself and sound man Ian, the camera was a Sony HDW-750, as a wee aside the camera although covered with a rain cover had a constant mist of salt water battering in from the sea, my hands and face were covered in a layer of salt, this same salt that nearly shut down our transmission.



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The NextoDI NSB25 Video Storage Bridge

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments


Alister “As part of the Beta Test team for the Nexto DI NSB25 I was asked to prepare a video review of the unit, so here it is. The NSB25 is much larger than previous NextoDI devices as it is designed to make make multiple simultaneous copies of a huge range of solid state media on to pairs of internal drives. By using pairs of drives the device creates both a master copy and safety backup and the same time. Furthermore it can also accept an additional external USB3 drive for a third copy or for offloading already backed up footage onto the external drive. The card reader part of the unit is modular so you can insert different modules depending on the recording media you are using. You can even plug in an HDMI TV or monitor for full screen playback of most formats directly from the device.”

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1 cracking lens for sale 42.5mm f1.2 Leica lens.

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments


lens-sale1 left

Its that time of year again when bargains are up for grabs, I have 1 cracking lens for sale pristine, boxed with lens caps and backs.

The first is my Panasonic Leica f1.2 42.5mm lens used for interviews in the case of the GH4 and low light photography in general, I do not want to part with this lens but need the money for a new project so snap this lens while you can you won’t see this lens up for grabs anywhere.

The other lens is the Panasonic 7-14mm lens is now sold.

Send me an email to prices do not include special delivery postage and open to UK residents only.

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

Zacuto Gratical OLED EVF with Den Lennie

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The Zacuto Graticle is a very interesting development it covers all bases and has a wonderful sharp picture by all accounts, Den Lennie shows us round the EVF in this short review.

Zacuto Gratical HD Micro Oled EVF First Look from Den Lennie on Vimeo.

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

Panasonic HC X1000 as a 4K camera plus my first 4K Vimeo footage

Categories: Miscellaneous 5 Comments


Why can’t people understand a simple process…I have never advocated this as a great 4K camera, the fact it films 4K 50p is fantastic but at 150MB/s and a smaller chipset will not allow this camera to produce stunning 4K master quality pictures.

If you want stunning 4K 50p pictures Panasonic produce the VariCam HS.


What the HC-X1000 will do is produce stunning HD pictures if you master your footage in 4K 50p and edit the 4K footage on an constrained HD timeline (compressing 4K to HD) giving you effectively 10bit 444 quality HD pictures.

Stop telling me its a crap 4K camera if your soul intention is to produce master quality 4K 50p footage… it’s obvious from its price point that its not going to produce master quality 4K footage.

If other reviewers have marked this camera on its 4K abilities thats fine but my review only takes into account its ability to compress average 4K footage into stunning HD footage.

You are not forced to buy any camera, a review done by me is my own personal findings which I pass onto yourselves. This rant came from a Vimeo reply by someone who did not listen to my review properly.

Can we download the original 4k ? (No it was not edited in 4K)

I don’t think Vimeo is doing a very good job on this video or maybe it’s just not that good. (I am not in charge of Vimeo’s quality nor your internet speed or equipment you are watching it on)

I want 50p/60p 4k and this camera seems to fit the bill of “too good to be true” (VariCam HS)

I have seen terrible reviews of this camera and on this Vimeo footage is looks poor but your words say its great so maybe we are just not seeing what you are, hence the request to put the download option on for us to see the original 4k footage. (HD footage !!!)

I have a 4k TV so I am keen to see something which can deliver the goods. (Not 4K 50p at this price point)

I have a Sony A7s which is great for HD but I am not sure I want a third party add on to record 4k in only 30p i.e. the Shogun Thanks in advance (Stick to your A7s/Shogun…You won’t get 4K 50p master quality footage below £5000 till we move onto 8K)

Since I am a nice chap I have just uploaded some 4K footage from the Panasonic HC-X1000 for anyone who cares to view it in 4K but remember Vimeo converts all footage to 25p

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

Thoughts for 2015

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

In the last hours of 2014 its time to reflect on 2015 and what camera manufacturers may have to offer…this will be a bigger year for 4K enabled products, Sony will possibly bring out a 4K internal recording DSLR.


How Sony can top the FS7 is anyones guess though Sony would do themselves a favour by reducing the cost of their XQD cards. Sony may bring out a 4K shoulder mount like the PXW X500, 4K should not be specific to the large sensor market.

FS7 800

Panasonic would do themselves a favour with a 4K AF101 or a 4K PX270 after all if they can justify a semi pro HC-X1000 4K camera the next step is obvious, I personally think P2 has had its day so either dramatically drop P2 in price or drop it completely. The GH5 should sport 4K 50p and needs to bring down the noise levels in line with Sony’s A7s.


Canon are so far behind with their recently announced C100 MkII they need a fairly big announcement like a C304 internal record 4K 50p 10bit 444 camera with on board XLR’s at a price less than the Sony FS7. They also need to enter the mirrorless DSLR market or forget video as a feature.


JVC have entered the 4K domain and I hope to have a look at the GY-LS300CHE Super 35mm camcorder in the new year, this camera records to non-proprietary SDHC and SDXC media cards in a variety of image formats including 4K Ultra HD, full HD with 4:2:2 sampling, SD and web-friendly proxy formats. It features JVC’s 4K Super 35mm CMOS sensor combined with industry standard Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens mount. JVC’s unique Variable Scan Mapping technology maintains the native angle of view for a variety of lenses, including Super 35, MFT and Super 16. As a result, lens options for the camera are almost limitless. 


Blackmagic have had a fair year but the URSA is not flying off the shelves as I thought it would especially at the price of £4000, is it the 7.5 Kilos or the special CFAST 2.0 cards costing £500 for 120GB. I have no idea what BM have on offer this coming year but you can be assured it will be interesting to say the least.


Software updates early 2015…

So that just leaves Sony to bring us the 4K firmware update (FW) for the PXW-X70, though I don’t understand if the AX100 comes standard with 4K built in why the X70 needs to wait for a FW upgrade ? Will it be 4K 50p ?

FW update for the Sony A7s allowing us to use the shutter button for recording video !

Sony to finally bring out a hand held 4K camcorder that has a constant aperture lens !

FW update to allow Panasonic GH4 users to see how much total record time you have on your SCXC card !

Apple FCPX to finally allow X70 users to import XAVC LongGOP footage.


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

Back in time to London, November 2010

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments


During February 2012 Exposure Room went bust leaving holes in many bloggers video postings, this video went missing till this evening when I happened to come across an MP4 SD copy. The Sony F3 was the start of the video manufacturers fight back over the DSLR with shallow depth of field large sensor camcorders…so sit back and enjoy its first screening in almost 4 years.


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My kit during 2014

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments


This was the last job I used my Canon C300 on, producing a wee doc for Glidetrack along with my Panasonic GH3 as a 2nd camera. It was the second cameras pictures that convinced me that my C300 was on its last shoot.

Limited to 720 50p the C300 was becoming a real bind, a camera that should have started out with 1080 50p…instead limited to 1080 25p… it’s final downfall.

Let me take you back 25 years my boss Chris Attkins told us that “in order to produce the best end result you need to film with the best quality you can afford” in those days we had Sony lo-band Umatic recorders and orange JVC KY1900 cameras.


So that’s why the C300 was sold it was becoming very limiting filming 720 50p and the sooner I sold it the more I would get for it as the Panasonic GH4 was just round the corner.

The Panasonic GH4s duly arrived along with my Panasonic PX270 camcorder.


The PX270 was used in a couple of news storys, one of them was at Celtic Park when the new manager Ronnie Deila arrived, using LongGOP 50, 1080 50p the results were very good indeed especially onto SDHC cards. The PX270 was made for this type of work, this is where the DSLR falls flat on its face.

You need a variety of quick, varied shots on a news story and sometimes at the end of a 22x zoom, you don’t get 22x servo zoom lenses for DSLRs…certainly not one that’s practical.

My two Panasonic GH4’s arrived and were as good as I had hoped they would be, one had the XLR adapter called the YAGH which was almost as dear as the camera itself.


The other one was rigged out for run and gun using the new hybrid digital Sony radio mic system. The Cambo rig was used during the GH4 review and sadly returned to Charles at Cambo UK after the review.


Having 2 matching cameras was a major bonus but unfortunately that did not last long as the GH4 was fantastic in most areas it lacked in one critical mode…low light.

Set the GH4 to 6400 iso and you are in noisy picture land this was never so illustrated when filming in dark low lit restaurants, hence the reason for getting rid of one of my GH4’s. In it’s place came the sought after Sony A7s… now this camera takes low light filming to a new level, forget 6400 iso this camera works at 12800 iso with little to no grain and it goes all the way up to 409600 iso with lots of grain.


So that’s almost 2014 kit wise apart from the Sony PXW-X70…once again I had to sell my PX270 in order to afford the X70 but why…both cameras are 10bit 422 so what drew me to the X70.


I think Alister Chapman drew me to this camera with his comments about how good the pictures were and his video was relatively grain free, having had the camera for a few weeks now its proving its worth and its the only video camera to date to match a GH4 for outstanding quality and I was not expecting such a performance out of such a small camera.


I still remember the first interview I did with the camera when I watched the shots back at base my jaw dropped at the clarity, grain free solid picture, stunning to say the least, something I had only seen from my PMW-350 which cost me £10K upwards.

Every so often a camera appears that defies all the odds and the Sony PXW-X70 is one of those cameras.

What about 2015 well as they say in all good books thats another story.

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