HOLDAN at BVE 2015

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Always an impressive stand, Holdan are busy showing off the latest video technology.


We interviewed Richard Payne of Holdan who is always a joy to talk to.


The Alphatron Tristar Bi-colour camera light was the star of the Holdan stand.


Another star of Holdan is Nigel (right) who is not only knowledgeable on his topic but a good laugh and friend.


Teradek announced a new H.264 encoder, the VidiU Mini, along with an accompanying iPad Production Suite called Live:Air (pronounced Live to Air).


Our Tony with a young attractive lass from Quadrus.

Here is our Holdan video produced at BVE 2015

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

NAB 2015 Rumours. Are Canon and Panasonic going to produce Sony FS7 spoilers.

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NAB 2015 is just around the corner and rumours are flying all over the internet of the following…

Canon need to show a 4K alternative to the Sony FS7 if they are to stay in the large sensor race, 8bit C300 is old hat, 10bits are the minimum spec for 2015 4K camcorders.

Canon need to produce a 4K internal recording 10bit camera this year, the bets are on a hybrid C300/500 with on board XLRs and a bit less boxy than the C300 design. The C500 was a disaster for Canon, 4K external recording was its main downfall apart from price.


To contend with Sony FS7 the “new” C450 will have to be around the £8K mark or less and have the ability to use a servo zoom and have XLRs on the camera itself. 4K 50p minimum recording spec.


Panasonic Broadcast have produced nothing as popular since the AF101 was produced. Panasonic have brought out a 4K 50p camcorder in the guise of the HC-X1000 which I reviewed recently and was very impressed with its 4K to HD picture.


The Panasonic HC-X1000 is not a Sony FS7 by any stretch of the imagination but if the rumours are to be believed we will be witnessing the final birth of a new 4K AF101 at NAB 2015.

The AF400 will be more of a contender for the FS7 as Panasonic already have a Hi-end 4K Varicam at £25K so they have nothing to lose by bringing out a £7K camcorder.

I would like to see the new 4K Panasonic with a Super 35mm sensor going away from the micro4/3 as seen on the AF101. Internal recording to SDXC cards, class 10, speed 3. Using expensive P2 type cards will not be the way forward, 10bit 422 minimum spec.

A wee birdie also tells me that Black Magic Design are also bringing out a new camera this year, I do hope we get away from big 10″ LCDs and get back to practical loupe viewfinders.

Sony will also bring out a camera or 2 but as they are basking in their FS7 success I doubt it will be a cut down FS7…or will it ?

I will leave you with a funny video about Canon…I dare you not to laugh.


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

ProductionGear at BVE 2015

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We filmed Simon and Bradley at the ProductionGear stand during BVE 2015. Simon who is an official drone pilot was talking about the new DJI Inspire One.




Steve is one of the partners along with Simon who own ProductionGear.



Bradley was demonstrating the DJI Ronin Handheld Gimbal System.


Here is out 5m video we produced for ProductionGear.

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

Vocas FS7 Viewfinder bracket £193

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First saw this at BVE this year and put my name down for one. The problem with the original LCD bracket is that its a circular rod so the ability for the LCD to tilt to one side is a major pain. After all I am the inventor of canted shooting, its known as the Howden shot.




Vocas obviously saw the strength in a rectangular bar system rather than a circular rod. With this Vocas system you can never have a squint viewfinder.


The best for me is the ability to park the VF in your camera bag without the need to keep taking off your loupe.

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

Warning for Sony FS7 owners producing 4K 50p LongGOP footage on FCPX

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Although I have two 128G XQD cards for my FS7 (still waiting for another 2) recording XAVC I on 4K 50p is time limiting so I use LongGOP which almost doubles your card time. FCPX does not look at XAVC L footage so you have to bring it in using 3rd party software.


I took my 4K footage into Sony’s Catalyst Prepare expecting to transcode to ProRes 4K 50p to discover your maximum ProRes render preset is full HD !


Not to be outdone I hunted Catalyst and remembered FCPX takes XAVC I frame footage…the answer…till I discovered after about an hours transcoding 8 files that I was ending up with document files !!! Sony have been made aware of this but it does not stop here…


As a back-up I have my Ultra Studio 4K running Media Express, now the latest firmware upgrade 10.3.7 brought 4k 50p…no problem I was covered. Sadly as I discovered it does not work, yet. Blackmagic told me they were aware of this and are updating the drivers this month to 10.4.7, so I hope I will have a solution to my problem.


I am using 4K to cut in and out of during an interview, making it look like a 2 camera shoot, this saves using 2 cameras cutting down on production costs.

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

Look Listen Experience at the Glasgow Science Centre

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We went down to the Glasgow Science Centre yesterday for a look round the Visual Impact show.


As an experiment we had the GoPro 4 on a 3 axis gimbal while I had a shotgun mic running into a Tascam DR-44 digital recorder. Unfortunately as we were using the iPhone for the GoPro we could not monitor the DR-44 via Wi-Fi. This would have allowed me to remotely start the recording…set to stand-by ! Time was at a premium and when it was noticed at 11.30am it was time to leave to travel through to Edinburgh for a paying job.






Sennheiser were showing a new digital radio mic system priced at £700, twice the price of the new RODE digital radio mic system.

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

LOOK LISTEN EXPERIENCE 2015 at the Glasgow Science Centre by Visual Impact

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Starting at 10am at the Glasgow Science Centre, one day only… see the latest video equipment, this is one of the few decent video shows held in Scotland so don’t miss out.

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

JVC GY-LS300 4K Super 35mm camcorder “First Thoughts”

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The JVC GY-LS300 will be on show at the Glasgow Science centre on Tuesday the 17th March at the Visual Impact, Look Listen Experience show.

I am a tad busy at the moment and can’t give this camcorder my full attention but hope JVC can lend it to me for a few more days. As it happens I am off to Edinburgh filming on Tuesday so can only attend the show till about 12pm.

Here are some of my findings so far…


This is a stroke of genius by JVC, we have a camera that takes a far wider range of lenses with the appropriate lens adapter, JVC sent me a Metabones Canon to MTF Speed Booster. With a full frame Canon 50mm f1.4 lens you can access all of the Super 35mm sensor.


Low light testing…the LS300 can easily use 12dBs of gain without compromising your picture, I will go into this in more detail on the video review.


When I first added my Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 MTF lens I was horrified to find vignetting at the top of frame, a call to Mike Turner soon had me into the VSM mode. The LS300 gives you full access to your MTF lenses from auto focus to full aperture control.


You get HD-SDI and HDMI sockets at the hand grip side of the camera and a zoom rocker switch, I tested my Panasonic 45-175 power zoom lens and it works a treat, this once again will be shown on the video review.

Did I find any negatives about the camera…that will have to wait for the video. Please remember the version I have is an engineering sample so any negatives may be sorted out by firmware.

So far I am very impressed with JVCs LS300, out of the box glorious rich natural colours a common feature with JVC camcorders, having interchangeable lenses and a servo zoom rocker switch helps sell this camera and Variable Scan Mapping is just pure genius.

UPDATE : JVC have recalled the camera for other commitments so the video review will be delayed till I get it back at the end of this month.

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

Back to basics…Steven Spielberg “Shot by Shot”

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I found this fascinating from a professional point of view, interestingly Spielberg never uses any hand held shots in Jaws, which may be a lesson many of you could bear in mind.

I thought this was going to be boring at first but you get “hooked” by the sheer genius of Spielberg’s directing skills and the amount of thought that goes into what looks like a simple shot that is contained by complex acting movements.

Take the time to watch this and learn from a true cinematic master.

STEVEN SPIELBERG Shot By Shot from Antonios Papantoniou on Vimeo.

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

Rotolight NEO on camera light £300

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Rotolight A look at NEO’s new key features:

Designer Fade™ Mode: Broadcast Video cameras typically feature an auto-fade button, whereas DSLR camerasdo not. Neo for the first time allows DSLR cinematographers to create and design unique custom fade up / fade down production effects for your Video, or to seamlessly transition between scenes.  True Aperture Dimming™: NEO features a world’s first ground-breaking feature. Neo uses exposure informationfrom the camera (Shutter speed and ISO) plus distance to the subject and data from the light to accurately calculate the correct aperture (F-Stop), whilst also compensating for skintone contrast. This allows the photographer or cinematographer to work intuitively with the light, and no longer need to meter every shot saving valuable time. As you adjust the distance from your subject, or the brightness of the Neo, you would simply re-enter the relevant settings and Neo would display the updated recommended aperture accordingly (F-STOP).

Accu-Colour™ Technology: Best-in-class LED technology featuring an Overall CRI = 95 / 100 & near perfect skintone reproduction R15 Skintone = 99 / 100. TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) = 85 / 100. Ideally suited for professional Television use. “The tuneability was crucial to both projects I tried NEO on. Being able to accurately match the additional lighting (ANOVA 2, HMI, fluorescent and tungsten) that we have been using has been really useful. I think that we are now in at a stage with LED lighting where tuneable colour temperature is becoming an increasingly usable option rather than a gimmick and Rotolight with the Anova and now NEO are at the forefront of that technology.” Simon Edwards

Featuring an intuitive dual rotary encoder control system for rapid brightness and colour temperature adjustment in the field, and Rotolight’s ‘Dynamic Drift Compensation’ for smooth dimming from 0%-100% with no colour shift. Neo can be powered by 6 AA batteries for up to 5 hours (or 3 hours at 100% power), AC adapter or D-TAP cable, drawing only 9W at full power. “Not many years ago we were used to lugging battery belts around for our battery lights and the lights themselves were pretty brutal things to use. Thankfully we nolonger need to do that! I used the NEO primarily as a battery powered light, eitheron AA batteries or using a D-Tap adaptor from the output on the camera. Obviously it draws very little power and certainly made no difference to the running time of my camera. The AAs certainly seemed like an economical option too and of course being a universally available battery there would be no problem sourcing extra batteries in the field. I didn’t time the life of the AAs, I just let it run and run. It went on for hours!“ “I think NEO offers so much to so many people; stills and moving pictures, experienced camera people and those at the start of their careers, DSLR or full size cameras. NEO truly is a light for everyone and with Rotolight’s pro-active approach to customer feedback and development I can see this being the beginning ofthe next generation of LED lighting coming from their Pinewood manufacturing base. I can’t recommend NEO highly enough – I see it becoming an industry standard unit.”Simon Edwards

GTC The Rotolight NEO is now available to pre-order from www.rotolight.com, retailing at just £299.99 the NEO will be shipping in April 2015!

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

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