Cinemartin gone bankrupt, very sad news

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Via Cinemartin’s Facebook page. “Bad news, we are about to close due to bankrupt. Our tie mother company leaves us with no other option.
End of Cinemartin probably by 1 April, the joke day, but our end as a filmmaking company.”

“Thank you for all your efforts and grattittude.
Soon we will make the public announcement”

HD Warrior were one of the first blogs to produce a review about their 7″ monitor which I still use.

The Cinemartin boys from Spain will be missed by many of us who were looking forward to their 8K FRAN camera, possibly a giant step too far.

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

Big changes for HD Warrior my new Video Podcast starting with the Panasonic S1

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Once a month I will be producing a video Podcast, this month I will be starting with the new full frame Panasonic S1

My good friend Rick Young has this very camera coming tomorrow and he will be giving me his first thoughts on the Panasonic S1 at the end of this week.

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

Well done JVC awarded “Best Camcorder 2018” for the GY-HM180 4K camcorder

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Great news for JVC, John Kelly receiving the award from the quarterly international magazine for professional filmmakers for their 4K GY-HM180 camcorder.

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

RODECaster PRO with Multitrack added via firmware 1.1.0

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The first major firmware update for the RODECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio has arrived. Update 1.1.0 introduces a stack of new features to the RODECaster Pro, including the much-anticipated multitrack functionality, as well as an updated user interface and mix-minus on the USB output.

I was excited at this when it was mentioned over a month ago as I prefer to record all my tracks separately, but it comes at a cost. For those who use Mac programs such as Garage Band 10 (I don’t) I think you can get this to work. Rode don’t hide the fact that it works with a £55 audio program called REAPER but its overly complicated in my opinion.

The fly in this ointment is that it only gives you multitrack via USB in other words you need a laptop plugged into the output if it is to work for you expanding the gear needed to make this very slick, self contained audio mixer work in multitrack mode, such a shame in my opinion.

Why RODE could not have made this feature self contained beats me when you are not limited by the micro SD card, after all a 128G mSD card gives you 94 hours of record time so adding a few more tracks to this would have been easy rather than this cumbersome solution.

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

Grid Slide Show for video and stills $39 save $10 today

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XEffects Grid Slideshow is a modular set of plugins that combine to build beautiful, clean slideshows based on a grid theme. 

The pack of 66 plugins contains pixel accurate moves, grid overlays, grid offsets, section masks and grid overlay transitions.

The user can then combine these to build stylish and professional looking presentations combining stills and video. No clumsy dropzones, audio is maintained and every variable can be trimmed or tweaked instantly on the Final Cut Pro X timeline.

No limitations on durations or media sizes, build exactly what you want, with a grid style in minutes.


  • Modular plugins for flexibility
  • Fast rendering
  • Stack up moves, masks, offsets and overlays
  • Use any media including video
  • No clumsy drop zones 
  • Many customisable parameters.
  • 4K Ready
  • Free watermarked trial

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

A Sony FS7 and a soundman in the boot of your car

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Making adverts is not an easy option in video at the best of times but even harder when you come from Glasgow and live in Spain, my good friend Laura takes up the story.

We were contacted by Leos agency (son) for the job, they needed a native English speaking family including a middle aged mum, a 6 year old boy and a teenage girl acting as brother and sister.
The ad was for an Internacional company called Gestamp
The agency sent me the script and we sent off a video of us acting out the diologue in more or less the same settings.
A couple of days later the agency got back to us saying we had got the part!
The camera crew came to the house the evening before the shoot and we rehersed our lines inside my car parked in the garage.

Sony FS7

Morning of the shoot we were picked up at 0800 and arrived at shooting destination near Segovia around 0930, tempreture -2°
The team had set up some tables with hot coffee,pastries, fruit ect.We all had a quick bite to eat before I was wisked off by the makeup artist to get my hair and make up done ….in the back of a car of course as it was so cold!
Shortly after we were all hooked up with our mics from sound manager Miguel carrero from who spend most of the day in the car boot.

I was planked in the seat of fancy automatic Mercedes and asked to drive it for the day whilst remembering my lines so that was a bit nerve racking to say the least.
The road we were filming on was cut off to traffic so we were able to stop the car at any time allowing the camera crew who were in a van in front of us make any adjustments with the cameras, lighting etc.
We all had walkie talkies so communication was very straight forward and clear. They were able to tell me if something needed changed or said in a different way or in my case “smile more”

We drove up and down the same road all day making stops in the car park to change camera position ect.
We had some lunch and continued filming until sun set.
Kids were very patient, and the team couldn’t be nicer.
Overall a great experience.

Kines Producciones is a video production company stationed in Madrid, Spain. Specialized in the production of corporative and institutional videos, advertising, the technical organization for events and producing feature films and documentary.

With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, we count with an advanced and experienced group of professionals. We handle all the different necessities that may surface during the production process, from the preparation, the post-production and the final distribution. All with the ability to do so with our own resources. The video was directed by Ruben Mateo.

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

Sennheiser giving RODE a run for their money £289

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Not to be out done Sennheiser have arrived with a neat radio mic system called the XSW-D system.

Got to admit when I first this new system I was completely confused, but makes a lot of sense when you look into it with a bit more depth thanks to You Tube videos.

The one downside of the RODE system in my books is the size of the transmitter its huge compared to any other system on the market today. I think Sennheiser have addressed this with the new easy to setup system.

My only reservation is Sennheiser’s insistence on calling it an entry level system this will stop a lot of pro users buying this kit.

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

10 Years blogging HD Warrior

Categories: Miscellaneous 9 Comments

Wow 10 years already so what’s changed over the last 10 years blogging.

In my first month’s post I was telling the world that a 64G P2 card was £1708 and consisted of four 16G SD cards, so why were they so expensive ?

It was all about HD 1920 x 1080 in those far flung days 4K was only a pipe dream. Today I only edit in 4K 50p with 8K on the horizon.

My very first video review was for the JVC HM700 HD camcorder

The video review was recorded with a Sony PMW-EX3, a very good HD camcorder apart from the IR filter which had a tendency to record blacks with a brown cast. You can actually see this in the review on my black/brown vest.

The exception to 4K 50p is my latest acquisition, my DJI Mavic 2 which only records at 4K 25p, so I choose to film at 2.7K 50p at 100Mbps. I do know that the Mavic 3 will have 4K 50p but I didn’t want to wait until DJI announce the Mavic 3. Let’s also hope the Mavic 3 will allow a bigger photograph than 72dpi.

On the 7th of March 2016 I wrote one of my hardest blog postings.

This is me at the Victory Services Club in the heart of London just after BVE 2016, since my trip to BVE.

I have suffered a small stroke so have to take things a lot slower even blogging. My speech is affected as is my balance but I have been lucky, so no reviews for a while and no late night blogging. I am so sorry to my regulars  who like their daily dose of HD Warrior. This has had a major impact of my business as I still suffer very bad fatigue in the afternoons, this was one side effect that my neurologist told me would not go away.

My thanks to all my family for keeping me sane over the last 3 years with all their love and a special mention to Scott for keeping me occupied filming his blog productions for The Footly Blog.

To keep myself sane I started to produce a You Tube program called One Roving Cook which also kept me up to speed with my new 4K Panasonic GH5 cameras. This kept me going until I ran out of family members willing to take part and recipes.

Chris Attkins and me at the Scottish TV reunion

During the wonderful summer of 2018 my ex-boss Chris Attkins asked me if I was up for a behind the scenes documentary about the film he was producing called Uncowed. To be filmed entirely on the wonderful Scottish island of Arran.

I jumped at the chance and it was a wonderful two weeks working again with all my friends and colleagues from 20 years ago at Flashback Video. I am very proud of the end result so here it is again in case you missed it first time round.

My behind the scenes documentary about the filming of Uncowed

I cannot go without thanking some of my site sponsors both past and present. A big thanks to HOLDAN for sponsoring me for a couple of years. My thanks to JVC Professional for their continuing sponsorship and to Production Gear for their sponsorship and special deals for me and my readership. A giant thanks to my oldest sponsor H. Preston Media who has supported this sight for the last 10 years, giving me and many of my readers great deals over the last 10 years. A big thanks to all my readers who keep me writing this blog week after week and thanks for the last 10 years.

I do hope Panasonic stick with the micro 4/3 format going forward into 8K. Why 8K…this would be awesome cutting into/re-framing the 8K picture on the HD or 4K timeline.

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

Emergency parachute deployment for drones

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What a great idea but no mention of cost.

Both the US and UK require drone operators to get permission before operating a small UAV (sUAV) above a crowd, a limitation that intends to protect innocent bystanders from injury in the event of a drone crash. Waivers are offered on a case-by-case basis by both the US’s FAA and the UK’s CAA, but require operators to show how people below will be protected if the drone experiences a failure mid-flight.

The FAA granted its first waiver in October 2017, when it gave CNN permission to fly a Vantage Robotics Snap drone featuring protective rotor cages over a group of people. A parachute system like the Indemnis Nexus offers a different type of protection, one that is the first ever to meet the international ASTM F3322-18 standard for small UAVs.

The standard covers deployable sUAV parachute systems, including design, fabrication, and testing, and was designed to help drone operators get permission for flying over crowds from agencies like the FAA and CAA.

According to Indemnis, it was required to pass a series of 45 functionality tests spread across five drone failure scenarios. Testing took place at New York’s Griffiss International Airport in a controlled airspace; the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance oversaw the process.

The Indemnis Nexus system is designed to strap onto existing DJI drones, which it monitors using sensors. If the sensors detect a flight disruption, a ballistic launcher deploys a parachute at 90MPH / 144kmh. The tube containing the parachute is designed to inflate in order to protect the parachute from the drone’s rotors and body.

The drone was validated for use with the DJI Inspire 2, but may be offered for the Matrice 200 and 600 series, as well, by the end of the year.

Indemnis ASTM Testing from Indemnis on Vimeo.

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

DJI Osmo Pocket Review with the Panasonic GH5 (UPDATED)

Categories: Miscellaneous 6 Comments

Before using the new DJI Osmo Pocket I had to switch from 60p to 50p now this is something you can’t yet do on the Pocket itself you need to use the Mimo APP on your iPhone to do this. Once it’s changed it stores it on the Osmo automatically. 

Think I have found a bug, if you are connected to your iPhone you can only get 50p in PRO mode but if you disconnect the Pocket from the iPhone and switch off PRO mode it will revert back to 60p. This has been addressed with firmware 1.0.4

The one thing I was not prepared for was the ability to film indoors using your home lighting and how good the pictures are. 

Me filming indoors at night with the Osmo Pocket (PS My house LED lighting are daylight balanced)

I really do think the Osmo Pocket much like the other Osmo’s should come with a stand as part of the deal, it does stand up on its own but you are always very wary of it falling over.

Having now used the Pocket in a professional interview I am very pleased with the results.

One of the trickiest parts of the DJI Osmo Pocket is trying to find how to launch it into PAL (UK) mode. This can only be done with the Mimo APP within the iPhone/Android itself. You have a choice of 1920 HD or 3840 4K, with frame rates of 24, 25 or 30 then 48, 50 or 60p and set to a quality of fine, you choose by taping on your preferance.

The Osmo Pocket was used in conjunction with a Panasonic GH5 and gave a very good account of itself.

Another problem is the position of the two internal microphones, not that you are using the sound for anything other than sync track but its the hole bottom left that catches you out when holding the Osmo in your hand.

Why do companies like DJI never consult the people who use their products when designing these units and they would have been told not to position a second mic in the base of the unit

Dont expect the Osmo Pocket to give you Steadycam results as like all its predecessors it suffers from a noticeable bounce while walking.

We used the Osmo Pocket with the iPhone attached for a better viewing experience.

The picture quality is far better than I was expecting especially in 4K 50p and almost matched the Panasonic GH5 picture profile with a little tweak in FCPX. Like most of these things it’s the reds that are hard to match, but when you watch the video you are not so aware of this.


  • Shoots smooth, stabilised video in all lighting conditions
  • Incredibly compact and genuinely pocketable
  • App offers lots of depth and versatility
  • Good battery life for its size
  • First of its kind filming 4K 50p
  • Very good 4K pictures
  • Great tool for indoor family filming in limited lighting

Minus Points

  • Needs accessories to unlock its full potential
  • Autofocus can occasionally be sluggish
  • Cant track in 50p mode (very disappointing)
  • Audio quality is only average
  • Not waterproof without a case
  • Dont like the second mic situated on the base
  • In built screen is only useful as a guide
  • Noticable bounce while walking

I am truly stunned by the pictures coming out of this tiny Osmo Pocket. Comparing it beside the GH5 was a good way to test how good the pictures are and I have to admit I was taken aback with the depth of picture quality compared to all my other two Osmo’s. For £329 this is indeed a 3 axis camera that  sets the standards for others to follow.

Having bought this item in the Osmo Pocket Expansion Kit I am rather disappointed in the WiFi performance as it keeps cutting out. I hope this will improve over firmwares.

Below is a short edited video to let you see the Osmo Pocket beside the Panasonic GH5. You can watch the full 11m film at this link

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

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