Further thoughts on the Sony 28-135mm f4 lens and V2 software

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments


I am using BVE as a testing ground for the Sony FS7 and I soon realised the pitfalls of using the 28-135 lens for interviews.


Alister Chapman was virtually our first interview of the day, fortunately we have the PXW-X70 with us as a roving second camera to cut in and out of.

In order to get anywhere close to a mid shot you are having to position yourself further away than you would normally and the problem this causes in a busy environment is Alister being able to hear my questions.


Fortunately I had the Sony 10-18mm f4 lens with me that was far more useful for this type of interview. People at trade shows are often demonstrating kit and having a slightly looser shot is more advantageous.


Interestingly Dan Chungs cameraman was using the 24-70mm f2.8 Sony A mount lens for their interviews.

Sony also announced V2 FS7 firmware roadmap yesterday which is a free upgrade…

New Features & Improvements:

Support for 4K (4096×2160) XAVC-I Recording
The FS7 now supports XAVC-I 4K (4096 x 2160) recording, a capability that opens up new possibilities not only for the production of documentaries and programs, but also for a wide range of professional applications. The corresponding frame rates and bit rates are listed below.

Format Resolution Wrap Quality Frame Rate Bit Rate
XAVC-I 4096 x 2160 MXF 4:2:2 10bit 59.94p 600Mbps
29.97p 300Mbps
23.98p 240Mbps
50p 500Mbps
25p 250Mbps

Support for ProRes Recording
The FS7 now supports ProRes recording* (ProRes 422 HQ and ProRes 422)**, providing an easy-to-use environment for those accustomed to the ProRes workflow. The corresponding frame rates are listed below.

* ProRes recording requires attachment of the optional XDCA-FS7 extension unit and a compatible optional power supply (BP-FL75 V-mount battery, etc.)
** This function does not support simultaneous recording, S&Q recording, Picture Cache Rec or other special shooting functions.

Format Resolution Wrap Frame Rate
ProRes 422 HQ 1920 x 1080 MOV 59.94i
ProRes 422 1920 x 1080 MOV 59.94i
Support for 4-channel Audio Input and Recording
The FS7 supports 4-channel audio input. In applications such as an interview, this function enables the simultaneous use of an external microphone for recording ambient sounds, the built-in microphone for voice memos by the operator, and two optional UWP Series wireless microphones for voice of interviewer and interviewee.In addition, by the use of an optional XLR adapter “XLR-K2M” which provides additional 2 XLR inputs, possible applications are further expanded.PXW-FS7 V2 Firmware will be downloadable during March 2015

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

BVE 2015 Day ONE

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


Day one at BVE was exhausting, even with three of us 2 filming and 1 photographer, the FS7 and all the ancillary gear is a lot to humph round a show like BVE.


First port of call was Production Gear one of HD Warriors sponsors, Simon (above) was on hand to show me the latest copter the DJ Inspire with 4K and 1080 50p camera on board.


Next stop was Sony where Alister Chapman gave us an insight to the up and coming Sony FS7 firmware where we hope the majority of bugs will be tweaked out. Talking to Sony about the 28-135 servo zoom lens they are hoping to do something about the 4 second fast zoom speed in a further FW.


Next we interviewed the product manager for the Alexa mini camera, next to interview him was my good friend Dan Chung.

LS300-JVCJVC were showing off their new 4K camcorder the LS300, they also told me they would send me one up for review.


Octica had a very nifty GoPro stabiliser which works a treat and just in case you want one its £500 plus vat…fantastic.


My other site sponsor, Holdan, had some interesting show stoppers the best for me was the Alphatron camera light that claims to be almost indestructible.



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

News from BVE…The ARRI Alexa mini £25,400

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Interesting move from ARRI, the new Alexa mini, I suspect its to combat the one major problem with the Alexa in general…its a big heavy camera. No doubt DoP’s have been feeding back to ARRI about a smaller lighter camera with the same specs as the bigger camera for more interesting shots.


Camera type 35 format film-style digital camera with lightweight and compact carbon body, 4:3/16:9 switchable active sensor area, support for ARRI MVF-1 viewfinder, built-in remote control capabilities via ARRI Electronic Control System and Wi-Fi, support for cforce motors, built-in motorized ND filters, interchangable lens mounts and ARRI Lens Data System
Dimensions Length: 185 mm/7.3″
Width: 125 mm/4.9″
Height: 140 mm/5.5″
(camera body with PL lens mount)
Weight ~ 2.3 kg/5 lbs (camera body with titanium PL lens mount)
Sensor 35 mm format ARRI ALEV III CMOS with Bayer pattern color filter array
Photo sites
(with surround view)
HD: 2880×1620 (3168×1772)
2K: 2868×1612 (3154×1764)
3.2K: 3200×1800 (3424×1926)
4K UHD: 3200×1800 (3424×1926)4:3
2K: 2867×2150 (3168×2160) *
Shutter Electronic shutter, 5.0° to 356.0°
Exposure latitude 14+ stops over the entire sensitivity range from EI 160 to EI 3200
as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC-1)
Exposure index EI 800 base sensitivity
Filters Built-in motorized ND filters 0.6, 1.2, 2.1
Lens mounts Titanium PL mount with L-Bus connector and LDS
EF mount
PL mount with Hirose connector and LDS
B4 mount with Hirose connector
Recording media CFast 2.0 memory cards
Recording formats HD 1920×1080
2K Cine 16:9 2048×1152
2K Cine 4:3 2048×1536 *
3.2K 3200×1800
4K UHD 3840×2160
ARRIRAW 2.8K 16:9 2880×1620 *
ARRIRAW 2.8K 4:3 2880×2160 *
Recording codec ProRes 4444XQ, 4444, 422 (HQ), 422, 422(LT), ARRIRAW *
Recording frame rates
Recording Format Maximum Frame Rate in fps (1)
Sensor Mode Recording File Type Recording Resolution (2) Recording File Setting Internal Recording External Recorder
CFast 2.0 128 GB Codex
16:9 ProRes HD 422 200
422 HQ 200
4444 200
4444 XQ 120
2K Cine 422 200
422 HQ 200
4444 200
4444 XQ 120
3.2K 422 60
422 HQ 60
4444 60
4444 XQ 30
4K UHD 422 60
422 HQ 60
4444 60
4444 XQ 30
ARRIRAW** 2.8K 30 120
4:3** ProRes 2K Cine 422 150
422 HQ 150
4444 120
4444 XQ 60
ARRIRAW 2.8K Full 30 60
2.6K Cropped 30 60

** available with SUP 2.0
(1) Minimum frame rate is always 0.75 fps
(2) The “recording resolution” determines the number of horizontal pixels that will be recorded (the number of vertical pixels is dependent on the recording file type and sensor mode)

Color output Rec 709, custom look or Log C
Look control Import of custom 3D LUT, ASC CDL parameter (slope, offset, power, saturation)
Adjustable image parameters Knee, gamma, saturation, black gamma, saturation by hue
Focus and exposure control Peaking, zebra, false color
White balance Manual and auto white balance
Sound level < 20 dB(A) at standard frame rates
Environmental -20° C to +50° C (-4° F to +122° F) @ 95% humidity max, non-condensing
Splash and dust-proof through sealed electronics
Viewfinder Multi Viewfinder MVF-1 (OLED and LCD ) with flip-out LCD screen
and military-grade connector to camera
Control interface Soft buttons and OSD on SDI output,
integration of Transvideo StarliteHD touch interface *
ARRI lens motor control Built-in radio interface for ARRI lens control
L-Bus motor output for daisy-chainable cforce lens control motors
Wi-Fi remote control Built-in Wi-Fi interface and web-based remote control from phones,
tablets and laptops
Custom control Optional GPIO interface for integration with custom control interfaces
Power input Lemo 8-pin, 10.5-34 V DC
Video outputs 2x HD-SDI out 1.5G and 3G: uncompressed HD video with embedded audio
and metadata, SDI-6G interface to external CODEX recorder *
Inputs SDI-Genlock (optional activation through ARRI Service),
timecode (in and output)
Other interfaces USB 2.0 (for usersets, looks etc.)
EXT accessory interface w. RS pin

* may not be available at product launch, but will become available as a software upgrade later in 2015


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

BVE 2015…One more day to register

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment


One more day and its BVE 2015 at the Excel, London. We had a great time last year, in fact we had a Panasonic GH3 and a Tascam D60 sound recorder last year. Remember if you read HD Warrior come up and say hello…we don’t bite…honest !


This year we will be sporting our very own Sony PXW-FS7 to do interviews plus a Sony PXW-X70, not a DSLR in sight !



The big announcement last year was the Panasonic GH4 and brought a huge crowd to the Panasonic Broadcast stand.

Holdan-web Simon-Steven

Two of HD Warriors site sponsors will be at BVE 2015, Holdan and Production Gear, showing off some cool new gear, remember today is the last day for registering for free passes for the show.

Regester here  https://registration.n200.com/survey/1bhanu9jq0d6s?_ga=1.79939220.2089935954.1423684509 

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

4K Broadcast our new look for future broadcast work

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Over the last year we have been more involved with broadcast work, so I decided we needed a corporate look for this side of our business…4K Broadcast


Live inserts for Channel 4 news at the Labour Party Conference in Perth during 2014 with our JVC KY-HM650 camcorder.


Filming for TV2 Norway with our 10 bit 422 Panasonic PX270 camcorder.


Our most recent job was for Good Morning Britain, filming the stormy sea battering the shoreside down at Saltcoats.

To-cam Katy



We now have a camera not only fit for purpose in the Sony PXW-FS7 but one that goes beyond UK broadcast spec. We can also offer our micro studio for green screen mid shots, MCU and CU. Our iPad prompter with bluetooth remote has been re-designed to fit the Sony PXW-FS7. Deep black and white backgrounds as an alternative.


We have very competitive rates for all sectors of broadcast from live news to adverts, why not send us an email to smallvideo@mac.com and find out how competitive we are.

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

New Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft…From the Federal Aviation Administration, USA

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The FAA proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.

The proposed rule also includes extensive discussion of the possibility of an additional, more flexible framework for “micro” UAS under 4.4 pounds. The FAA is asking the public to comment on this possible classification to determine whether it should include this option as part of a final rule. The FAA is also asking for comment about how the agency can further leverage the UAS test site program and an upcoming UAS Center of Excellence to further spur innovation at “innovation zones.”

The public will be able to comment on the proposed regulation for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, which can be found at www.regulations.gov.  Separate from this proposal, the FAA intends to hold public meetings to discuss innovation and opportunities at the test sites and Center of Excellence.  These meetings will be announced in a future Federal Register notice.

“Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and this milestone allows federal regulations and the use of our national airspace to evolve to safely accommodate innovation,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The proposed rule would require an operator to maintain visual line of sight of a small UAS. The rule would allow, but not require, an operator to work with a visual observer who would maintain constant visual contact with the aircraft. The operator would still need to be able to see the UAS with unaided vision (except for glasses). The FAA is asking for comments on whether the rules should permit operations beyond line of sight, and if so, what the appropriate limits should be.

“We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.”

Under the proposed rule, the person actually flying a small UAS would be an “operator.” An operator would have to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and obtain an FAA UAS operator certificate. To maintain certification, the operator would have to pass the FAA knowledge tests every 24 months. A small UAS operator would not need any further private pilot certifications (i.e., a private pilot license or medical rating).

The new rule also proposes operating limitations designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground:

  • A small UAS operator must always see and avoid manned aircraft. If there is a risk of collision, the UAS operator must be the first to maneuver away.
  • The operator must discontinue the flight when continuing would pose a hazard to other aircraft, people or property.
  • A small UAS operator must assess weather conditions, airspace restrictions and the location of people to lessen risks if he or she loses control of the UAS.
  • A small UAS may not fly over people, except those directly involved with the flight.
  • Flights should be limited to 500 feet altitude and no faster than 100 mph.
  • Operators must stay out of airport flight paths and restricted airspace areas, and obey any FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).


The proposed rule maintains the existing prohibition against operating in a careless or reckless manner. It also would bar an operator from allowing any object to be dropped from the UAS.


Operators would be responsible for ensuring an aircraft is safe before flying, but the FAA is not proposing that small UAS comply with current agency airworthiness standards or aircraft certification. For example, an operator would have to perform a preflight inspection that includes checking the communications link between the control station and the UAS. Small UAS with FAA-certificated components also could be subject to agency airworthiness directives.

The new rules would not apply to model aircraft.  However, model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all of the criteria specified in Sec. 336 of Public Law 112-95, including the stipulation that they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes. Generally speaking, the new rules would not apply to government aircraft operations, because we expect that these government operations will typically continue to actively operate under the Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) process unless the operator opts to comply with and fly under the new small UAS regulations.

In addition to this proposal, earlier today, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum concerning transparency, accountability, and privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections for the Federal Government’s use of UAS in the national airspace system which directs the initiation of a multi-stakeholder engagement process to develop a framework for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues concerning commercial and private UAS use.

The current unmanned aircraft rules remain in place until the FAA implements a final new rule. The FAA encourages new operators to visit:

You can view the FAA’s Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking later today at:

An overview of the Small UAS rule can be viewed at:

You can view the fact sheet at:

Press Conference audio is available here.

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

BVE 2015 next week in the Excel, London 24-26 February

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BVE is nearly upon us, why not take some time off work and see all the latest video equipment from Sony, Panasonic, JVC, BlackMagic ARRI, Ikegami, Canon to mention a few.

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

My new Shape FS7RH arrives just in time for BVE

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments


Sony designers excelled themselves with this remote arm, they decided every cameraman/woman carries a screw driver so in order to extend this remote arm you need to unscrew two screws.


A Canadian company called Shape saw this design flaw and produced their version with an easy to release tool-less version, now all I have to do is release the red knob and extend the remote handle.



Better still Shape took the re-design a stage further and added a quick release knob (Red button) which makes it easy to go from shoulder mount to tripod use.



Well done Shape for making a tool-less version of this arm, now all we need them to do is make a better design of the viewfinder bracket and we are ready for action.


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

Putting the Sony 28-135mm f4 lens through its paces for ENG use.

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments


This is an honest assessment of the Sony 28-135mm f4 lens for ENG use. Firstly can I start by saying its a cracking piece of glass, its actually a lot bigger than I had perceived on the web.

There are no perceivable chromatic aberrations, no reds or blue ghosting hiding in the corner of frame or tree branches. Its not the longest zoom on the camera planet with a zoom ratio of just under 5x nor is it as wide as most of us would have expected. Canon’s 17-120mm is a 7x zoom ratio far more useful for 4K “Run & Gun” but ten times the price of the Sony and sadly not a constant aperture lens.


Although sitting at f4 the Sony is a constant aperture lens which in my opinion produces a very nice shallow depth of field between f4 and f5.6, the servo zoom is very smooth from creep to “Sony fast”. The timings are as follows…Slow = 18s from W to T and Fast = 4s.

This is where we start to lose momentum, the zoom is not fast enough in my opinion its almost as if its been set to accommodate the auto focus. You do have the option to switch over to manual zoom but unfortunately unlike a true ENG lens you don’t get a fast crash, its dampened to a set speed. I will ask Sony next week at BVE if there is anything that can be done to improve the speed of the zoom.


It is a par focal lens so zooming in to get focus will stay the same when zoomed out, very useful. You also have the option to de click the aperture ring via a switch on the other side of the lens.

On the downside Sony decided not to produce a lens cap for the £2300 4K lens…you get what can only be described as a plastic cup lid, not what I expect from the likes of Sony, poor show. I have just ordered a 95mm front lens cap for a Hasselblad for £8 from WEX.


Back to the original question, how useful would this lens be for ENG work, the answer depends on what kit you have with you…If you solely depend on this lens it will be a struggle depending on the type of job you are filming. General shots, interviews and tight shots are the order of the day with this lens, wide shots…you will need to cross the road or have a second lens in the bag. I have the 10-18mm f4 Sony lens for this very purpose and it takes a matter of seconds to swap over.

This Sony PXW-FS7 is a two lens camera in my opinion till Sony update the lens to a 12-120 f2.8, I think most of us would stretch our pockets to afford such a lens as long as its not ten times the price !

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

Lens day…Our new Sony 28-135mm f4 lens arrives

Categories: Miscellaneous 7 Comments


Today is Lens day, finally after weeks of anticipation our new Sony 28-135mm f4 servo lens arrives, look at the size of the box ! With no time to play I took the Sony PXW-FS7 outside to show you how the servo lens performs. With a crop factor of 1.6 the shots have an effective field of view of 44-216mm.




Who says you can’t have a shallow depth of field with an f4 lens.


As a comparison I put the 10-18mm f4 wide angle lens on the FS7, this will be great for landscapes and interiors.




As a final test I put the 28-135mm lens onto my Sony A7s as you would expect it now acts as a full frame lens.




My thanks to John Preston of H Preston Media for getting this lens to me in time for BVE. I will get back to you tomorrow with my initial thoughts on the lens, especially in “Manual” mode.

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

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