8K…The Future of Television 2028

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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 !

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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”

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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.



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

Panasonic GH4…1st thoughts and disappointments

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Having had time to read the official specifications of the Panasonic GH4 its certainly packed with a host of video features like syncro scan, not something I was expecting but a pleasant surprise.

One major disappointment was the 4:2:0 8bit internal processing, the same as the GH3, the least I was expecting from a 4K enabled camera was 4:2:2, you do get 4:2:2 10bit out of the SDI socket but I personally do not want to hook up an external recorder ! There is a possibility that the boys at Magic Lantern will reverse engineer this at some point but you do have to ask why Panasonic don’t give us 10bit from day one !

The addition of a 4 pin power XLR on the optional adapter unit should have given me a major clue on powering this beast, I certainly don’t want to go backwards wearing a battery belt so your option is a cage with a “V” lock adapter attached or a “V” lock battery plate with a longish cable !

My main gripe is what was the point producing a GH4 knowing how small it is then deliberately crippling it with external units like 12v batteries and external recorders that will be bigger than the camera itself.


The GH4′s HDMI 1.4a connector allows it to output 4K or 1080 streams. The bit-rate and amount of color information varies, depending on how the camera is used. By default, the HDMI outputs 8-bit 4:2:2, either for monitoring or for sending to an external recorder, leaving you with the option of using the 8-bit 4:2:0 files from the camera as more convenient proxies during the editing process. Alternatively, if you take the SD card out of the camera, you can use the GH4 as a camera head – which gives you access to a 10-bit 4:2:2 stream.


The camera is designed to use SDHC and SDXC cards with a UHS I bus and Panasonic only promises the camera’s full capability when used with cards conforming to the U3 speed class, which guarantees 30MB/s (240Mbps) sustained write speeds.

Looking around the internet this morning (Saturday 8th Feb 2014) I can only see adverts for Kingston SDXC speed 3 cards, £48 for a 64G card seems to be very reasonable considering a 64G XQD card is still £365.

Availability…I was hoping to get my hands on a GH4 before BVE (Last week in February) but Panasonic are not taking any pre orders till the 17th March which means we may be looking at April before the camera appears.

In conclusion…

For practical video work I have no doubt that the GH4 on its own will out perform my GH3, the addition of the XLR adapter is a major bonus but I would have preferred an all in one solution without the need for the 4 pin DC power socket but taking that aside most of the time this camera will be filming interviews so on a tripod the extra 12v battery pack may not be such an issue. Having the SDI out is a major bonus for monitoring purposes though we are just as comfortable with HDMI theses days.

Q. Will I buy a GH4 the answer is yes…will I buy the YAGH XLR adapter…the jury is out.


Just watched a video about photographer Daniel Berehulak in Kenya using a prototype GH4 along side Danial is Takehito Miyatake a photographer from Japan.

Pic v3

We forget the GH4 is also a very competent photographic tool and Danial shows how good the dynamic range is in this picture…fantastic.

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

GH4 Announced at 4am this morning (Around £1250)

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments


  • 4K from a nearly full pixel readout of the sensor, internal recording
  • Uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 1080p via HDMI
  • 96fps slow-motion
  • More than double the bitrate of the GH3 in 1080p with 200Mbit ALL-I and 100Mbit IPB
  • 1036k pixel OLED screen and 2360k dot EVF
  • Small form factor, lightweight
  • Small price for the spec and accessible to broad range of artists and filmmakers, from consumers up to pros
  • Choice of broadcast safe luma ranges or full range (0-255)
  • XLR and HD-SDI (via external add-on)
  • PL mount lens compatible (i.e. with Hot Rod Cameras adapter)
  • Uncompressed 10bit 4K and 2K via external add-on
  • Efficient H.264 compression of 4K compared to Canon 1D C MJPEG
  • Reduced rolling shutter (50ms sensor readout compared to 100ms on GH3)
  • Improved dynamic range
  • Improved low light performance
  • PAL / NTSC switchable (“world cam”)
  • Zebras and focus peaking
  • Time Code
  • Synchro Scan
  • Cinema-gamma mode
  • Articulated screen
  • Full manual audio control
  • Convenient Quicktime MOV file format
  • 1080/60p
  • Very fast AF for stills (0.07 sec)
  • Improved AF in low light
  • New mechanical shutter with longer lifespan and 1/8000
  • Very fast 40fps burst mode
  • Silent electronic shutter at full resolution and in raw
  • Timelapse and stop-motion animation modes
  • Gradation curve (for in-camera adjustment of shadow and highlights)
  • Responsive (quad core CPU based)
  • Very good quality stills for a cinema camera
  • Wireless control over WiFI
  • Near Field Comms
  • Weather sealed, even splash proof
  • Extensive lens range
  • Metabones Speed Booster compatible


Rather disappointing that Panasonic did not disclose the price of the GH4 or the YAGH interface unit in fact my worry is that the YAGH unit will only take a 4pin DC power cable as there seems to be no where to slot an external battery into.

This has been confirmed it does indeed need a 12v “V” lock battery if using the YAGH not very convenient in my opinion. No pricing but some are speculating a price of around £650 for the YAGH and £1250 for the camera.

The boys over at EOS HD put it in a nutshell…”Think about what would connect to this unit… A very high spec 4K recorder / monitor like the Odyssey 7Q, a V-lock battery and some chunky pro audio equipment via XLR. Is there any point shrinking this add-on down to the size of a consumer DSLR battery grip when you have all this hanging off it ?”

The other very disappointing news is the 8bit 4:2:0 internal processing though you can get 4:2:2 10bit via the SDI socket but onv=ce again a compromise and something else to hang off the camera if you want the extra quality.

Note on Availability: Panasonic announced this camera on February 6, 2014, and we will begin accepting pre-orders on March 17, 2014.

Here is a short video produced in 4K make sure you watch it in full screen mode.

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

More updated Panasonic GH4 pictures…”Speechless”

Categories: Miscellaneous 12 Comments



Wow what an accessory add on this is turning out to be, it even has holes for rails…fantastic !


Finally we get to see the XLR side with a 4 pin professional power socket and 4 HD-SDI outputs and a timecode input this is indeed a professionally specified DSLR, Panasonic can be proud of this achievement, taking the GH3 and revamping the whole camera up to professional video standards and beyond.


Once again everything on this camera accessory tells us Panasonic have stepped up several gears, line, mic and 48v phantom power with a neat selection between Stereo and mono.

I do wonder looking at this accessory if it will also work with the GH3 now that would be a smart move by Panasonic if that is indeed the case ?

This will be hard to beat… I think Canon and Nikon must be sick but all the professional camcorder manufacturers will find this hard to beat…2014 is Panasonic’s crowning glory and I can’t wait to get my very own GH4 plus XLR/HD-SDI accessory, all this and 4K as well…I am truly speechless…WELL DONE PANASONIC !!!

Thanks once again to 4/3 Rumours for this update.

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

The future of BBC News…Just when you thought it could not get any worse

Categories: Miscellaneous 8 Comments


I dispare at the nonsense going on behind the scenes at the BBC…producing a training video on how to use an iPhone for major news work is just cheap and nasty television.


Only the other day I was dropping off my father to witness a live BBC Scotland interview with John Swinney who was absolutely jaundiced due to a very poor white balance. We have BI coloured LED lighting BBC…USE THEM !

To watch jello vision via a person off the street is one thing but to get so called “professional” footage shot on an iPhone is taking television standards down the preverbal pan hole.


Why do companies like JVC, Sony, Panasonic and Canon bother to product WiFi enabled camcorders if you are just going to ignore the technology and use iPhone crud.

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

GH4 its official the XLR unit as promised

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The specs are
- 16,05 Megapixel sensor. It’s a new sensor with semi-conductor protection tech to reduce noise and improved dynamic range.
- quad core processor and venus Engine
- ISO up to 25,600.
- 12fps, 7,5 fps with continuous focusing
- GH4 uses the new UHS I class III SD card format
- Depth From Defocusing (uses Panasonic lens database to fine tune AF!)
- AF as fast as 0.07 seconds. 49 AF points.
- 4K video at 4096×2160 pixels and max frame rate of 96fps.
- Bit rate of up to 200Mbp
- Magnesium body
- Price not unveiled yet
- There is an optional Interface Unit (see image above). Has 2 XLR, 4 SDI, micro HDMi output, color bar signal, audio reference signal, external time control

Once again this is all thanks to 4/3 Rumours you can see other pictures on their web site but the XLR unit nails it for me.

Friday will be an exiting day…the official launch of the GH4 and just look at the XLR unit ! This finally turns the DSLR into a fully working fit for purpose video tool and if my GH3 is anything to go by…pictures to die for.

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

New sightings with the Panasonic GH4

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As you can see the new 4K GH4 is almost as big as the Black Magic camera, due to being an early prototype it looks a bit home made, as they say “You can’t have your cake and eat it”.

On a more serious note seemingly the picture below is a GH4 prototype being used to produce a promo for the big launch on Friday.



This was spotted on DEFY Products Facebook page posted on the 24th of January and claims to be an early pre production GH4…interesting.

More updated GH4 specs from 4/3 Rumours

1) It will have a quad core processor.
2) Sensor reading is 50% faster then GH3 so much less rolling shutter.
3) Maximum bitrate of 200Mbps ALI and 100Mbps IPB
4) 4K, you will have MOV + MP4 only.
5) In 1080p you will also have AVCHD.
6) The camera will have focus peaking and the user will be able to change the color. Focus Peaking will also work from smartphone through wifi.
7) Focusing will be faster and have more AF points (compared to GH3).

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

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