Photographing the Queen’s Baton Relay in Rutherglen 2014

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Armed with my 2 Panasonic GH4’s one with a 35-100 f2.8 Lumix G lens and one with a 7-14mm f4 Lumix lens both cameras set to 12 fps. With the Transend (C10 S3) SDXC cards inserted its a breeze to sustain 12 fps over 5-6 second bursts.


The venue was Rutherglen main street to photograph the Queen’s baton relay for the Glasgow Commonwealth games due to arrive next month.


South Lanarkshire Council had their in house cameraman filming the event with a Sony EX-3 though the chap did tell me that his PC did not handle the XDCAM file all that well.


I bumped into a former work colleague Dorothy, we both used to work for Flashback Video back in the 1980s.


One of the chaps hired in to follow the Scottish section of the relay was on hand with his newly acquired Sony EA50 which he told me he was delighted with its overall performance.


This is the wee hero of the day, young Sam McAleer who went through major heart surgery only a few months ago but is here to not only tell the tale but carry the Queen’s Baton.


As usual the media truck followed in front this year with a gyro headed camera for better stability.


The other part of todays relay carried by a young very exited lady.


The 2 GH4’s were a dream to use having 12 fps tracking focus gave me a lot of options not open to some of the seasoned pros with their heavy Nikons hanging round their necks.




This was my picture of the day wee Sam getting high five’s from the cheering public. I posted my best pictures on Facebook earlier today knowing Sam and his mother Shirley who is one of my friends would see them. It’s such a joy to use a skill like photography to add pleasure to other’s lives.

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

4K on 1080 25p timeline via FCPX with zoom added

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If you double click on the picture above you will get a 2560 x 1440 enlargement. Note the info tab tells you about the original material (4K) not the timeline info. I decided to take the dance footage a further stage forward using the scale mode as a zoom, this allows you to contain the shot at the precise moments…this level of control is not available to you on one off live vision mix, in other words “off the hoof without a rehersal”.


Opening up Video Animation allows you to see your transformations… in this case I electronically zoom in to contain the shot and zoom out slightly still containing the shot. I also zoom in on a shot and perform a slow pan left to right. Also note with this type of electronic zooming you don’t suffer any “f” stop closure.




Only when you use the YAGH in a hurry do you discover why you don’t monitor any of the SDI outputs while in 4K…it only shows you a quarter of the picture !

Just to let you see some of the pitfalls I have edited a fresh dance with some jerky camera movement due to me using a photographic tripod and forgetting to lower the middle column which causes shaking when someone walks past the tripod.


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

The 4K Experiment…Can 1 camera do the job of 2

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For many years the only way to produce a two camera vision mixed shoot was to humph a load of gear into a hall 2-3 hours before the event and start rigging, the alternative is 2 cameras, tripods, monitors and two operators and post produce the shoot via multicam…that is till now…


I am experimenting with the Panasonic GH4’s capabilities while producing material for my user review, in this case utilising 4K. I have always had the idea that 4K material would be great for interviews but never crossed my mind that it would be any use for a live production like a children’s dance show.

Last evening I turned up to my friend Alister’s dance show recording, as usual he had a full rig, 2 SDI camcorders, talkback, vision mixer, multi screen, XDCAM EX-30 recorder…the lot.

I turn up with a GH4, 12-35mm f2.8 Lumix G lens and a tripod.


See what you think…I am rather amazed at the results especially the post produced pan shots.

Here is the trick, firstly don’t shoot at maximum aperture I was between f3.5-4 and the critical part of this shoot was focus, you can’t afford to be anything other than spot on, I would suggest using an external monitor to make sure you have focus, don’t shoot using anything other than manual focus, 4K is very unforgiving especially in crop mode.

I used a Lumix mic (DMW-MS2) for the experiment but would highly recommend the Tascam DR60 (£200) as you have the option to use 2 phantom powered XLR microphones and record to SD card as a safety backup.

Finally the show lasted 2 hours so two 64G cards would give you 2h 40m, the saving in labour both in humphing a lot of gear up one flight of stairs and the wages for a second cameraperson would be enough to persuade me this is the way forward for children’s theatre shows, plus filming it this way takes out any fear of missing something off camera.

What about the workflow…The 4K file needs rendering on my 1080 25p timeline but I am still using a full spec iMac, having a MacPro would certainly speed the process up considerably. The one minute edit…time wise, compared to having two streams of 1080p footage on top of each other and cutting away the unwanted footage.

I dont film domestic jobs like dance shows so I can’t take this experiment any further but if you want to save a lot of effort producing a 2 camera event this must be a serious option.

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

Glidetrack…The Documentary

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After a few months filming and editing I have finally finished my documentary about Alastair Brown, the owner of Glidetrack.


Alastair has spent the last 8 years building up Glidetrack literally from his house to his own premises in Paisley, Glasgow.


The new carriage that makes the slider what it is…what can I say…fantastic…it can’t get any smoother.


This was the shoot that convinced me to sell my Canon C300 as I was getting tired of filming 720 50p when the GH3 beside it could film 1080 50p @ 50 Mbps.


We are now on two GH4’s filming 1080 50p @ 100Mbps what more can I say.

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

3 camera shoot…2 GH4s and one GH3 (UPDATED : With Video)

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A well known Glasgow Labour MP, Jim Murphy, was our port of call this morning at his office to talk about his new book…”The 10 Football Matches That Changed the World”


Using 3 Lumix cameras, 2 GH4’s and 1 GH3 we produced a rather tasty 3 camera shoot talking about Jims new book.



One GH4 had a 12-35mm f2.8 lens set at f4, the YAGH adapter set to stereo with Ch1 on radio mic and Ch2 Sennheiser Gun mic and the Ledgo ring light for light. The bonus for me was the adapters SDI output allowing me to not only monitor Jim’s main camera but with a neat trick via button 5 of the Sony PVM-740 you can zoom into the picture checking focus.


The radio mic was our new Sony UWD-P11 hybrid digital radio mic, this was a good test and it was as clean as a whistle.


The 2nd main camera (GH4) had a 50mm f1.4 Leica lens set to f4 while the reverse shot (GH3) had a 35-100mm f2.8 lens.

Jim and Scott

Jim and my son Scott who produced this and also interviewed Jim about the book and various football related topics.

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

NEW Lumix DMC-FZ1000 with 4K recording at 25p

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Panasonic announced today the new LUMIX DMC-FZ1000 (FZ1000) — the world’s first digital compact camera to offer 4K video recording capability*. The FZ1000 boasts a one-inch, High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and 4K video recording capability. The latest member of the popular LUMIX FZ series, the FZ1000 will be available select channel partners in late July with an MSRP of $899.99.

The integration of a newly developed LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 16x optical zoom lens achieves high resolution edge to edge. It also produces stunningly beautiful defocus together with the large-sized MOS Sensor.

The 1-inch large 20.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor dramatically improves S/N (signal to noise) ratio, making it possible to capture a clear image with minimum noise even when it is shot at a high ISO. The Venus Engine is also newly developed to feature multiple noise reduction systems such as Multi Process NR, Random Filter and Aperture Filter, to achieve high color reproduction and high image quality with a natural look.

The FZ1000 incorporates 4K (QFHD 4K: 3840×2160, up to 30 fps in MP4) video recording capability for the first time with a digital compact camera*1. Panasonic is also proposing a new solution to capture 3840×2160 8-megapixel equivalent images from the 4K video footage which is normally difficult to photograph. Also, videos can be recorded in full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format or MP4 at 60p. A powerful 16x optical zoom with 5-step speed control enables smooth zoom adjustment even while video recording. The 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)+ with Active Mode effectively compensates for vibration. Creative Video mode, High Speed video in full-HD at 120fps, Time Lapse Shot and Stop Motion Animation are all available for a variety of video effects..

The FZ1000 also features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, for its focusing accuracy and improved Light Speed AF of approx. 0.09 sec*2. Together with the quick start-up time of approx.0.66 sec, the DMC-FZ1000 never misses a shooting opportunity. High speed burst shooting can be shot at 12 fps in 20.1-megapixel full resolution. It also offers a max.1/4,000 (mechanical) and 1/16,000 (electronic) shutter speed.

The FZ1000 boasts a high-precision, high-speed OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) LVF (Live View Finder). With 0.39-inch 2,359k-dot high resolution in 4:3 aspect ratio, the new LVF boasts approx.1.88x / 0.7x (35mm camera equiv.) magnification and 100% field of view. The 3.0-inch 921k-dot free-angle LCD with its wide-viewing angle rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down. Operability is also improved with a newly added zoom lever, zoom ring and drive mode dial for more intuitive operation. For more creative freedom, Creative Control, Creative Panorama and Photo Style are available.

The FZ1000 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with a simple operation. The FZ1000 also comes with a 3.5mm jack for an external microphone connection. In addition, RAW data can be processed in camera.

*1 As of June 12, 2014
*2 Based on the CIPA standard, when using Live View Finder.

1. Bright Leica DC Lens 25-400mm F2.8-4.0
Panasonic newly developed LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens system (F2.8-F4.0) with 16x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 25-400mm). Comprised of 15 elements in 11 groups, including 4 ED lenses and 5 aspherical lenses with 8 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit achieves high MTF value.

2. Large 1-inch 20.1MP MOS Sensor for Amazing Defocus Control
The DMC-FZ1000 incorporates a 1-inch large High Sensitivity MOS Sensor with 20.1-megapixel high resolution. The new 1-inch sensor is 4x larger than conventional 1/2.3-inch sensor in size. This new large MOS Sensor improves S/N ratio, resulting in dramatic reduction of noise even when shooting at ISO 12,800.

The Venus Engine image processor was developed for the DMC-FZ1000 to dramatically boost its performance with a new quad-core CPU providing high speed signal processing required for rich 4K video recording . The advanced Multi-process NR (Noise Reduction) applies effective noise reduction and detail processing according to each component frequency. Plus, newly added Random Filter granulates chromatic noise to be blended into the image even more naturally.


3. The World’s First Digital Compact Camera Recording High Quality Video in 4K
The LUMIX FZ1000 is not only for capturing still images but also high quality video in 4K. It features outstanding 4K video recording capability (QFHD 4K: 3840×2160, up to 30 fps (NTSC) / in MP4*3. Users can enjoy recording video in ultra high definition and even grab an 8-megapixel frame as still image. After recording video in 4K, users can cut out a single frame to choose the best still image in rich resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The FZ1000 should be used with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3). The UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) guarantees a constant minimum write speed of 30MB/s to respond to market needs for 4K video.

*3 4K video can be recorded up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. Use SDXC/SDHC Memory Card compatible with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) when using high bitrate video recording mode of 100 Mbps or greater.

4. Super-fast LUMIX DFD Focusing Technology
For even faster response and higher mobility, the FZ1000 newly integrates a dedicated motor into the focus system to achieve extremely fast focusing. In addition, the Light Speed AF is further enhanced with an adoption of DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology which even shortens the time to set focus. It calculates the distance to the subject by evaluating 2 images with different sharpness level while consulting the data of optical characteristics of the current lens in a moment. As a result, the DMC-FZ1000 achieves ultra high speed AF of approx.0.09 sec*4 at wide end and even approx.0.17 sec at tele-end.*5 Together with the quick start-up of approx.0.66 sec and short release time lag, the DMC-FZ1000 never lets photographers miss fleeting shooting opportunities.

*4 Based on the CIPA standard, when using Live View Finder.
*5 Panasonic in-house examination (infinity to 2m shooting time lag)

5. Integrated Smartphone/Tablet Wi-Fi® for Remote Imaging Control
The FZ1000 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology camera to offer more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing. With the Panasonic “Image App”, remote shooting of both stills and video is possible by using the smartphone/tablet for a remote shutter with a monitor. You can release the shutter, zoom, focus and set shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation with a smartphone / tablet.

6. Other Features

3cm Macro Shooting…Stunning macro shots can be shot with minimum focusing distance of 3cm.

Highlight/Shadow Control…The Live View function is also advanced digitally making it possible to adjust highlight / shadow separately with the front/rear dial. 3 patterns of settings can be customized in addition to 3 patterns of preset.

RAW data development in Camera…The FZ1000 is capable of processing RAW images in camera.

Level Gauge…The DMC-FZ1000 is equipped with Level Gauge to detect the horizontal / vertical angle of view.

iA+ (Intelligent Auto Plus) Mode for Photo and Video…For beginners, iA (Intelligent Auto) mode supports taking beautiful pictures with a variety of shooting-assist functions including AF Tracking, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Recognition, Intelligent ISO Control and Food Recognition.

Optional Accessories
A GN58 powerful External Flash (DMW-FL580L) is newly added to the LUMIX optional accessories which allow high speed charging of approx.1.7 sec. Not only wireless control but also LED video light functions are available. The Stereo / Shotgun Microphone (DMW-MS2) which enables stereo/shotgun switch. The 62mm diameter of ND Filter (DMW-LND62), PL Filter (DMW-LPL62) and MC Protector (DMW-LMCH62) are also offered for more creative freedom.

  • The “AVCHD” is a high definition (HD) digital video recording / playback format jointly established by Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
  • “AVCHD Progressive”, “AVCHD”, the “AVCHD Progressive” Logo and the “AVCHD” Logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
  • Android and Google Play are trademarks or registered trademarks of Google Inc.
  • IOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.
  • All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.
  • This unit is compatible with both SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards. You can only use SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards on devices that are compatible with them. You cannot use SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards on devices that are only compatible with SD Memory Cards. (When using an SDHC/SDXC Memory Card on another device, be sure to read the operating instructions for that device.)
  • SDHC Memory Cards and SDXC Memory Cards can be used only in equipment that is compatible with their respective formats.
  • If the computer being used does not support SDXC Memory Cards, a message prompting you to format may appear. (Doing so will cause recorded images to be erased so do not choose to format.) If the card is not recognized, please refer to the below support site.
  • Some accessories are not available in some countries.


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

TV Bay show at Manchester today

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The TV-BAY show was at Manchester today.




Our good friend John Preston showing off a few bargains and new Sony kit


As usual Philip Bloom steals the punters with his talk about “Do we need 4K”


My good friend Larry Jordan talking about workflows and computer editing…My thanks to Charles Woods and John Preston for supplying the pictures.

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

Anyone got an Ultra Studio 4K…10.1.1 has just be released (Update)

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I noticed the new 10.1.1 drivers up on the Black Magic site today and fixes for audio problems you get with V10.1….yee ha !

What’s new in Desktop Video 10.1.1

• Audio fixes on all inputs and outputs.

• 10-bit RGB support on HDMI in all HD modes.

• Fixes for Avid Media Composer Title Tool and timeline output.

• Fixes for output flicker and issue when replacing clips of different formats in ProTools 11.

• General performance and stability improvements.


I am doing some more testing today…The Conclusion


My friend Aliaster brought his two PX270s over and all three caused a green/purple out of the HDMI socket and the same HDMI lead out of my GH4 was fine so my conclusion is the signal coming out of the PX270 is non standard…taking the HDMI direct to a monitor is fine and taking the SDI out of the PX270 into the Ultra Studio 4K is also fine.

Something has been tampered with between v10.1 and 10.1.1 of the Black Magic software as the HDMI (Video) was fine in 10.1 some people are speculating this new feature “10-bit RGB support on HDMI in all HD modes”.

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

Working for tv2 Norway using the Panasonic PX270 camcorder

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We arrived at Celtic Park on Thursday about 11am after picking up Sigve from the airport. Sigve Kvamme was our Norwegian sports reporter a young bright lad.


The chap we were here to see was Ronnie Delia who at this time was rumoured to be Glasgow Celtic’s new football manager.


While we were hanging around I bumped into STV’s top camerawomen Jen with her new Sony PMW-400 loaded with two 32G SxS cards.


As people were short on the ground we began interviewing each others reporters…firstly STV’s sports reporter Raman Bhardwaj


Then Sky’s Sports reporter Charles Paterson in their Satellite truck.


Scott my son who was assisting me and a football genius was in his element talking to Sigve and Charles.


As we were filming VOX pops in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow city centre, Sigve got a call to head up to Blythswood Square where Charles and cameraman were there to interview Sigve.

Here is the amended edit from yesterday… I edited out a young chap who took an unofficial day off work.


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

Bentley Cars use iPhone 5s for gimmick viral add campaign

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Once again we see major clients like Bentley agreeing to have an add campaign shot with a camera not fit for purpose. A lot of frigging has gone on behind the scenes to make this happen hence the black and white “look” but in my opinion web hits versus stunning 4K footage shot on the likes of a Sony F55…no comparison.

When your business is built around top quality engineering why compromise your product using a £600 smartphone camera.

Bentley “The film highlights the fusion of luxury, performance and technology within the Bentley Mulsanne and reveals the manner in which Intelligent Details was filmed, assembled and edited using the in-car connectivity and entertainment platform.”…iPad with keyboard.

I don’t get the point, if your customer base are people at the top of their professions why do you need to produce a viral video to get to the masses…when 99.9% can’t afford your product ?

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

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