Teenager gets arrested in France for flying a drone UPDATED “Further Arrest in Paris”

Categories: Miscellaneous 13 Comments


A French teenager has been arrested and charged with endangering lives after flying a UAV and camera over the city of Nancy

teenager who filmed an aerial view of the centre of Nancy using a remote-controlled drone has been charged with “endangering lives” by flying the drone in a populated area without a licence.

The 18-year-old posted a video of Place Stanislas and other monuments in the Lorraine capital on social websites and it was viewed tens of thousands of times before being taken offline on the orders of the Préfécture de Meurthe-et-Moselle.

It had even been on the site of the Lorraine regional council social site, www.mylorraine.fr

Officials from the French civil aviation authority (Direction de l’Aviation Civile/DGAC) had also spotted the video and ordered an investigation.

The Nancy prosecutor told journalists it was a first in France but drones were treated as light planes as they could be dangerous if they fell on to someone in a populated area. There was also a special risk in towns of violating other people’s privacy.

Anyone who wanted to fly a drone in a built-up area should have the equivalent of a ULM [Ultra-léger motorisé – microlight] licence.

The youth, who had set up his own business called Golox to hire action video cameras and equipment for drones, has received messages of support on Twitter as he warned others of the dangers.

He was interviewed and charged this week by policemen and he will appear in court in coming months for “endangering lives”.

HDW : Superb video but what I take most out of this is that the chap “piloting” the drone is a very skilled operator indeed, fantastic shots not available to any other form other than that of a drone. I agree with one comment on a recent web site… instead of arresting this chap he should be given a medal by Nancy’s mayor for a cracking tourist information film.

Anyway how does this differ from model plane flying…you don’t need a licence to fly a model plane the drone is a model plane with a camera attached…once again its all about money…simple…it seems if you start charging for filming with a drone you change your status from amateur to professional.

Once again bureaucracy gone mad…if the drone had caused harm or damage then you have a case…but give him a telling off or a fine…this does not warrant arrest.


A member of the French Foreign Legion is expected to go before a judge on Thursday after beingarrested for piloting a small drone around the famous Paris monument.

The 22-year-old Ecuadorian, on leave from the Foreign Legion, was rumbled by police at around 11pm on Tuesday, Europe 1 radio reported.

He had reportedly been flying the drone measuring half a metre by half a metre around the first floor of the tower when he was arrested on suspicion of “endangering the lives of others”.

It’s the exact same charge that was levelled against a French high school student who landed in hot water after using his drone to make an aerial film of the historic sites in the eastern French city of Nancy.

“Nancy seen from the air” (Nancy vu du ciel) is the stunning short film put together by 18-year-old Nans Thomas quickly which racked up some 400,000 views after it was posted on the online video sharing site Vimeo.

But unfortunately for the teenager his success also caught the eye of French civil aviation authorities, who ordered an investigation, TF1 TV reported. It turns out the teenager violated two key provisions of the law according to Nancy’s top prosecutor Thomas Pison.

First, drone operators in a France have to complete a training course similar to the ones pilots must take. Then, a drone flight over an urban area requires specific written approval. Unfortunately for Thomas, he had neither.

Prosecutors didn’t think find the stunt very funny.

“If the aircraft crashed in a densely populated area, the consequences can be tragic,” prosecutors told Est Republican. “The use of drones also raises the question of respect of people’s privacy.”

No word on whether the Legionnaire could also face consequences from his commanders, who have a notorious reputation for stern discipline and stiff punishment.

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

BVE Exhibitor Profile : Production Gear

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Production Gear will be showcasing a range of exciting new products including Besteady stabilisers and Dactlycam cable dolly.


We will be showing brand new LED lighting systems fromDedo, Westcott and Filex.

Other new products include re-housed lenses from G.L Optics lenses.  The Redrock Micro One  Man Crew and MicroRemote Follow Focus systems.

We will also be exhibiting a concise range of Wooden Camera accessories and the new DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter.

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

BVE Exhibitor Profile : HOLDAN

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One of our major advertisers HOLDAN are going to be at BVE this year so here is a profile of what they have on offer…

Holdan is a distributor of cutting-edge technology and complete workflow solutions for the pro video, broadcast and AV market. We represent brands including Teradek, Datavideo, Blackmagic Design, Vitec, Harmonic, Grass Valley, Panasonic and Sonnet. At BVE, we will show…
Production Technology
  • Panasonic broadcast & professional camcorders
  • The HD, 2K and 4K Blackmagic Cinema Cameras
  • Multi-channel recording software
  • Live production switchers
  • Portable production units
  • Integrated studio solutions
  • Camera grip and supports
  • Wireless production technology
  • LED lighting kits


Post-production Technology

  • Editing software and media storage
  • Asset management tools
  • Video monitors
  • Thunderbolt expansion systems
  • Transcoding software


Media Delivery Technology

  • Streaming devices
  • Low latency encoders / decoders
  • IPTV solutions
  • Video distribution & multi-screen delivery tools



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

Important Firmware Upgrade for PMW-200/300 users

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Alister Chapman “Quite a few PMW-300 users have been having issues with Chromatic Aberration (CA) typically pink and blue halos around areas of high contrast. CA is caused by the fact that different wavelengths of light are bent and focussed at different points by the lenses. So blue light will be out of focus when red is in focus and vice versa. There are two ways to combat this. The first is the use of combinations of special (and often very expensive) glass that compensate for this, the other is electronic correction performed in the camera. One issue with the optical approach is that the sharper you make the lens the worse the problem becomes, as if you bring red into very precise focus, the slight defocus of the blue becomes more noticeable. So as we raise the resolution of the cameras we shoot with and this need ever sharper and higher resolution lenses the problem becomes harder to deal with purely optically. As a result modern video cameras rely more and more on electronic CA reduction, sometimes called ALAC (automatic lens aberration correction).

Sony’s EX cameras include ALAC and it does a really good job of masking the CA. The PMW-200 and PMW-300, even though they both use the same lens as the EX’s show a lot more CA. Sony have now addressed this and released firmware updates for both the PMW-200 and PMW-300. It appears that with older firmware versions the ALAC only compensated for horizontal aberrations. The new firmware improves the horizontal correction and adds vertical correction. The difference this update makes is in most cases quite dramatic, almost totally eliminating the CA.”


You can download the updates fromhere: http://support.sonybiz.ca/esupport/Navigation.do?filetype=Firmware

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

Zeiss Glass for SALE…”As new Canon EF fit…UK sale only”

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Boxed with end caps and metal hoods, this fantastic second hand sale from HD Warrior these Zeiss lenses as new email me on hdwarrior@me.com if interested. Please note if paying by PayPal I will have to charge a 2% surcharge. If paying direct to the bank no charge. Once again UK residents only please.

The price does not include P&P via Special delivery (Both lenses are £8.25 SD next day)

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

The Conditioned…An uplifting yet humbling documentary.

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

The Conditioned from Facebook Stories on Vimeo.

Sometimes we are so full of our own self importance that we forget whats important in life…health, family, friends…I dare you to watch this documentary and not be humbled by what you see.


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

8K…The Future of Television 2028

Categories: Miscellaneous 7 Comments



4K is the buzz word this year yet I do not know anyone who knows how to output 4K. Sony have released a selection of mastered in 4K branded Blu-rays. These are in fact standard 1080p Blu-ray discs which take full advantage of available disc capacity. They have also been mastered with a wider colour range than standard Blu-ray discs.

A 2160p upgrade on the Blu-ray standard is inevitable, of course, which will allow for 4K movies to be sold on disc. In addition, Netflix appears to be making good progress with its 4K streaming plans, expected to reach some sort of fruition in 2014.

YouTube offers a 4K channel, but you’ll require a powerful Mac/PC with a 4K capable graphics card making it an exclusive viewing club so far.

Sky are recording special events in 4K but editing and outputting them in HD meantime till a less cumbersome 4K compression is found and more to the point…customers who are not only willing to pay for such a service but own a 4K TV.


During my trip to IBC 2013 I was intrigued to see various companies showing off the “Future of Television” screens such as this not only built into the fabric of the house but blending with the wall paper as well.

I asked a Japanese technician how they edit 8K pictures as no commercially available NLE can edit 8K as far as I am aware, there was a scurry of technicians but no one knew the answer.

Somewhere in Japan someone has invented 8K editing software and some means of playing it back.

I can see 4K only being beneficial as a mastering format meantime either in native 4096 x 2160 (17:9) or 3840 x 2160 (16:9) either edited in 4K and dropped down to HD or edited on a 1920 x 1080 timeline.

My initial experiments with 4K was to edit the footage in FCPX 10.1 on an HD timeline, thus allowing you to re-frame is a major step forward in HD production but the cost of recording 4K is very prohibitive let alone only having 15 minutes record time on a 32G XQD card.

My last interview at IBC 2013 was a technician from NHK TV who told me that 8K TV was at least 15 years away so don’t expect 8K cameras till 2028.



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

The Battle for sub £2K 4K has begun !

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments


It wasn’t that long ago when having a Betacam camcorder with an 18x broadcast lens was the assurance of plenty of television work then the goalposts changed and the need for a full HD camcorder like a PMW-500 with an 18x broadcast HD lens was the new requirement.

Soon if Panasonic and Sony get their way the new updated specs will be 4K plus 4K lenses and so it goes on…

Today Blackmagic Design dropped their elusive 4K Cinema camera by £1000 making it £1925…Why ?…The answer is simple…

Panasonic’s GH4 4K camera was announced last Friday and it has set the 4K heather alight with prices speculated as low as £1200 body only so have Blackmagic got anything to worry about…

If we go spec for spec the Blackmagic 4K cinema camera wins hands down but the size, shape and poor sound facilities does nothing to help the camera win much needed sales.


The Panasonic GH4 has a video feature set as long as your arm and an electronic mirrorless viewfinder with the popular micro 4/3 sensor takes an enormous amount of lenses added to the fact that you can get an optional sound adapter to equal any professional camcorder produced today the DMW-YAGH.


This one optional addition takes the GH4 about a mile above the BM camera sound wise and this is why BM in my opinion have shaved a £1000 off the price of their camera today.

This adapter also allows you to take a 4:2:2 10bit feed into an external recorder almost equalling the BM camera, the one fly in the ointment is having no official price for the YAGH adapter but if you consider the Tascam DR60 comes in at £300 the most people are willing to pay for the YAGH in my opinion is about £500 or less.

So back to my original question “Should Blackmagic Design be worried by the Panasonic GH4″ the answer is yes !

Seemingly the BM 4K camera is now shipping and BM have told resellers to honour the price reduction to people who ordered before the price reduction, mind you considering no one has received the 4K BM camera yet that statement is a tadd hollow.

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

Panasonic GH3 and Tascam DR60 “The Rock Solid Solution”

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments


Sadly during IBC 2013 I discovered the Tascam joined to the GH3 underneath to cause  a certain amount of camera bounce as the quick release plate fastened at one single point was not secure enough.

Today I decided to investigate further and here are my findings…GH4-back

The new GH4 adds an optional sound unit making it very sleek indeed till you discover the power is supplied via a 12v 4pin XLR socket on the side of the unit this may prevent camera bounce (That still has to be confirmed) but you can’t grab the camera off the unit for the odd hand held cutaway shot.

I do feel Panasonic should have designed 2 units a sound version with internal batteries and the version we see above.

Till we get our hands on the GH4 and the YAGH its down to the GH3 and the Tascam DR60.


Using a Manfrotto 814-1 Mini Hydrostat Arm and a Manfrotto quick release plate CT577 you can achieve the best of both worlds.


One note of caution the arm comes in two flavours one with 1/4″ at both ends and one with 1/4″ and 3/8″ this is the version that is better suited to this as the newer Manfrotto 504HD etc. tripods all have at least one 3/8″ mounting hole.


The camera plate attaches onto the Tascam to provide a convenient slip on slip off arrangement very handy if you need to use the Tascam independent of the tripod.


This works well on all new “Bridging” design Manfrotto tripods leaving your Panasonic GH3 free of the Tascam less one 3.5mm stereo lead from the Tascam camera out port.


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

The Glen Cinema Disaster 1929 as part of a local documentary

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On 31st December 1929 one of Paisley’s saddest chapters in the Town’s history  took place in the Glen Cinema.


At an afternoon show, a cannister of film started to smoulder, causing smoke to enter the main cinema. In the panic to leave the cinema 71 children perished, crushed in their desperate attempts to get out.

Cellulose Nitrate was the base of the old film stock which was highly flammable not only that the lamps used in those days were arc lamps which were very hot to give such intense light, that was long before safety film appeared in the early nineteen forty’s which was made from Cellulose acetate film.


Eighty five years later Stuart McKenzie has embarked on a documentary about Paisley old and new and the disaster plays a big part as his late father was one of the children who survived the Glen Cinema Disaster.


Stuart was one of the early adopters of a Glidetrack slider so my part in this story was to film Stuart filming the Memorial erected to  commemorate the 70 children who died in the disaster.

My documentary is about Alistair Brown the founder and MD of Glidetrack and Stuart gave me a cracking testimonial about Glidetrack.

The kit I am filming with is a Panasonic GH3, Tascam DR60, Manfrotto mini arm and Manfrotto MVH500 video head. Having the Tascam DR60 takes the pressure off buying the sound adapter (DMW-YAGH) which needs a 4pin power input unlike the Tascam which is self powered.

I find this setup the best for doing interviews as the DR60 screwed underneath the GH3 makes the camera less stable, I found this out at IBC last year though I still plan to sit down and design a plate for the DR60 that will be more fit for purpose.


My thanks to Allen a very competent broadcast cameraman himself for taking the background pictures.



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