New Sony player PMW-PZ1

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Sony today announced a new 4K SxS memory player, the PMW-PZ1, a high quality and cost-effective playback solution for 4K shooting and post-production applications. The PMW-PZ1 features multi-format playback capability for 4K (24p to 60p) and HD video, supporting a variety of formats including XAVC Intra & Long, MPEG HD422 and MPEG HD, covering professional to consumer range of uses.

The PMW-PZ1 is equipped with an SxS card slot, a HDMI output, 3G/HD-SDI outputs (x4), an audio output, LCD colour monitor and more. This combination of versatile interfaces enables the seamless playback, copying and monitoring of 4K and HD video across a diverse range of applications, not only for video production but also for the development of 4K equipment, 4K video walls at events, exhibitions, museums and more.

During field or location shoots, 4K images captured on cameras such as Sony’s PMW-F55 can be immediately checked on the PMW-PZ1, or output to a professional monitor or consumer TV via HDMI. At event venues, 4K video can be output to digital signage or projectors. It can also be used to copy data in SxS media directly to an external storage without employing any other devices.

“Despite the rapid growth of 4K shooting and editing, the playback of 4K video clips generally still requires costly high-powered computers or servers operated by users from technical backgrounds,” said Lucie Wendremaire, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “The PMW-PZ1 addresses the market need for an affordable, simple-to-use and compact 4K playback solution. It is compatible with a variety of formats, possesses a host of practical inputs/outputs for easy connections, and offers an intuitive interface readily operated by all users.”

The PMW-PZ1 has a number of key features that make it an ideal choice for those looking for a reliable 4K/HD memory player:

Multi-format capability in 4K and HD

The PMW-PZ1 has a highly flexible multi-format playback capability for 4K and HD. It can playback a variety of formats including XAVC Intra, XAVC Long, XAVC S-Long(*1), MPEG HD422(*1) and MPEG HD(*1).

(*1) Requires firmware upgrade (planned for autumn 2015).

Simple copy and backup process

The PMW-PZ1 is equipped with a USB interface designed for connection to an external USB storage device. This enables users to copy data in SxS media directly to external storage without the need for other devices. The PMW-PZ1 creates a copy log(*2) (csv format) in the external USB storage device which helps users to easily check the file names of copied files. For greater accuracy in the copy process, users can activate a verify function before copying to avoid any copy errors.

(*2) Requires firmware upgrade (planned for autumn 2015).

Versatile interfaces

Connectivity and inter-operability with other devices are vital for any memory player to enable quick and easy operation. The PMW-PZ1 meets this need with a host of versatile input and output interfaces, including a HDMI port and four 3G/HD-SDI outputs. Through the HDMI port, the PMW-PZ1 can be connected to professional monitors and projectors, or even consumer TVs, for the most flexible operation under various production circumstances. An independent audio output is also available on the player. The PMW-PZ1 is equipped with two USB interfaces – one for connection to external USB storage, and the other to a mouse device for the user to control the PMW-PZ1. Not only does this enable data to be copied, but also allows the user to play stored clip data from the external USB storage device.

The PMW-PZ1 will be available from June 2015 onwards.

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

4 Channels of audio coming for the Sony FS7 in v0.2 Firmware

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Sony have played a blinder with the FS7 by adding the Multi-Interface shoe at the front of the camcorders handle. This has allowed Sony to add 4 Channels of sound to the camera with v2 FW upgrade due out this month. I have been waiting for this adapter for over 6 weeks for my A7s, hopefully it will come this week.

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, the use of optional XLR adapter XLR-K1M or XLR-K2M provides additional 2 XLR inputs to further expand the range of possible applications.

The only downside to this arrangement is the inability to mount a camera top light, if only Sony had added a shoe onto the XLR-K2M adapter.

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

Panasonics P2-ROP app that turns your iPad into a fully fledged CCU via Wi-Fi

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The Panasonic P2 ROP (P2 Remote Operation Panel) free app is a highly functional user interface for supported Panasonic P2 Camera recorders. It features all the necessary functions contained within a traditional hardware ROP such as the optional AG-EC4 remote controller but in a software application.


This app is a master stroke from Panasonic and a major bonus for PX270/PX5000 owners. Not only do you have a master CCU right at your finger tips you also have the ability to watch proxy files as well.


IMPORTANT : Panasonics P2-ROP app is only available for the Apple iPad at the moment.


Proxy browser is also built into the app so that operator can adjust the setting while checking recorded clips with thumbnail and previewing. Metadata can also be displayed and edited on iPad to support post production work.


You need to purchase an AJ-WM30 Wi-Fi module to make this possible, on the PX270 the WM30 fits underneath a sliding cover on the hand grip, keeping it out of harms way (£144).

My colleague Alister came over on Thursday to have his two Panasonic PX270s upgraded to the latest firmware 16.30-00-0.00, giving him the new lossless AVC-Intra 200 Codec as well as the ability to use P2-ROP. We were very impressed with P2-ROP and tested it outside at a distance of about 40 feet, at one point it lost the Wi-Fi signal when the camera was recording but surprisingly it initialised itself when the camera was nearer the iPad and it was still recording, so even if your signal is lost temporarily all is not lost.

Setting up the Wi-Fi was a wee bit tricky but we managed it. I will go into further detail next week.

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

Sony PXW-FS7 produces a non standard SD PAL signal

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Having spent £200 on an HDMI to SDI Atoms converter I now discover the HDMI socket on my FS7 is producing a non standard SD signal.

576/50i is the standard PAL SD signal not 575/50i, this is why my converter can’t “see” the SD signal being produced from my FS7.

Why do I need an SD signal…I can be called to film a live feed into a satellite truck and most of them only accept SD signals. I need the ability to feed an SD signal via a SDI socket which the FS7 can’t do natively.


If any other FS7 owner can test the HDMI SD output I would be very grateful.

I hope Sony are on to this and repair the SD signal from the HDMI socket in the up and coming v.2 firmware.

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

Replacing the Sony FS7 Loupe diopter from +1 to +3

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During BVE I met a chap who also had a Sony FS7 and told me how he had changed the diopter in the loupe. Although not marked the original diopter is a 1:1 magnification which is as minimal as you can get.

This is why older eyes like mine are finding it hard to see focus and the beauty of this re-engenering is its simplicity.


All you need to do is buy a 52mm +3 Hoya close up lens and unscrew the original, replacing it with the far better optics of the HOYA close up lens…job done. Now its so much easier to see focus all for the cost of about £20.

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

4K Studio for £20,000 !

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Anyone contemplating a new studio set-up for education, look no further, this deal from Holdan is fantastic, all using BlackMagic gear.

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

Sony’s PXW-X70…”Toy town 4K” Updated (Comments now closed)

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Sony have seriously misjudged the backlash with the up and coming firmware upgrade, and the over the top price X70 owners are having to pay for a measly licence that many of us insist should have shipped with the camera from day one.

Assuming you need 4K 25p, 420 8bit footage you are expected to pay Sony a further 485 Euros for the pleasure…no chance. At least two of my colleagues own two X70s and they are thinking of now selling them on as the price for 2 licences… a whopping 970 euros is far too dear in their opinion.

To add insult to injury the AX100 (X70 domestic clone) came with 4K as standard and is being updated in March 2015 “The FDR-AX100 will also support XAVC S 4K 100Mbps high-bitrate recording through a firmware update scheduled for March 2015.”

While the PROFESSIONAL PXW-X70 will only support 60Mbps in 4K…this is shocking. Sony do say the following “We are looking to support a higher bit-rate recording mode than 60 Mbps for 3840×2160 XAVC-L in the future

A word from one of my readers “February 24, 2015, came the news that soon will be released an update for PXW-X70 will be available 4K resolution. Just judging by the presented data, the owners of professional cameras PXW-X70 will be able to improve their equipment to the level of consumer camera AX100, with PAYMENT ???? While AX100 will soon receive improved characteristics with 4K. Correct me if I’m wrong.”

This is turning into a “Marketing Disaster” for Sony Broadcast and I for one will not be paying 485 euros for any 4K 25p frame rate. Panasonic on the other hand recently gave all their Panasonic PX270 users a late Christmas present by giving away their AVC Ultra 200 codec for free, when it was rumoured to cost at least 2500 euros.

I love my PXW-X70 and XAVC HD 1080 50p works fine for me but a lot of disgruntled X70 users are becoming very angry at not only the time it has taken Sony to arrive at the 4K licence price but the unfairness of it all compared to the AX100 !

Lets look at the Mbps of other 4K camcorders…

Sony PXW-FS7 = Best quality 4K @ 600Mbps

Sony PXW-Z100 = Best quality 4K @ 600Mbps

Panasonic HC-X1000 = 150 Mbps

Panasonic GH4 = 100Mbps

JVC GY-LS300 = 150Mbps

Sony domestic FDR-AX100 = 100Mbps (FW coming June)

Does anyone think we are going to get top notch 4K footage at 60Mbps when Sony have already announced a FW update for the domestic AX100 upping it to 100Mbps…sorry but I really feel so angry that Sony Broadcast think professional camera operators will put up with this outrageously bad afterthought when their domestic partners are walking all over us…seriously very poor marketing Sony Broadcast !!!

Further thoughts :

What were we waiting for, the price, we knew that would be over the top and we were right. I thought Sony were working on some amazing professional codec that would give us a minimum 150-200 Mbps XAVC 4K, after all…We the end user bought into the fact that our X70s are “professional camcorders”. I also hoped we would get other codecs like XAVC I for HD work, allowing me to bypass Catalyst Prepare. SDXC speed 3 cards would cope with 150Mbps easily I use them in my X70, A7s and GH4 all the time.

Sonys announcement was a roller coaster for me but to pay so much for so little in return is not cricket.

Update : Before we go into the realms of fantasy the X70 is a 422 10bit HD camcorder but is not capable of processing 422 10bit 4K footage, thats why you buy an FS7 !


Why are we still bickering about 422/420, this video has been pointed out to me as a “Sony said 422″ yet in the same German video there is a graphic stating quite clearly UHD is 420 8bit, this was recorded during IBC 2014.

4K in the PXW-X70 is 420, 8bit end of story.

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

BVE 2015 Interviews…LED Lighting with Lite Panels and Photon Beard

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LED lighting just gets better every year and no more so than lite Panels one of the leading companies in LED technology.


The Astra 1×1 Bi Colour is no exception with a tremendous light output and has a TLCI result of 95 (Daylight), 95 (Tungsten) which is almost perfect.


Photon Beard from Bedfordshire are makers of very high quality LED, tube and HDMI lighting, MD Peter Daffarn is such a knowledgeable man and is very passionate about his product.


The PhotonBeam 80 Red Head LED light is a fantastic bit of kit and scored 95 for their daylight phosphor on the official TLCI readings.

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

BVE Interviews…Alister Chapman talks about FW v2 for the Sony PXW-FS7

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First of our BVE exclusive interviews is with Alister Chapman talking about Sony’s new V2 firmware for the PXW-FS7 out at the end of March 2015.


Alister explains why the XQD series of cards comes with its own card reader.


Going over the questions with Alister, we use the PXW-FS7 for the main interview filming XAVC I at 1080 50p 185Mbps and the Sony PXW-X70 filming 1080 50p XAVC HD (LongGOP) can you tell the difference.

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

BVE Day 3 and show round up

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Den Lennie from F-Stop Academy was delivering interviews for Kit Plus today that were being transmitted all over BVE and the US.


The Photon Beam 80 was the RED HEAD LED light of the show for me as it has a hidden feature, without the phosphor disc you get a fantastic rich blue light, great for a background wash. It also has a TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) of 95 which is a fantastic score. WARNING : If you buy this LED light you MUST NEVER point the raw blue LEDs at anyone as they are very dangerous to the retina (back of your eye). Price £759


The RODE Link was the audio feature of the show, pure digital sound for £300 is a snip and even although the transmitter is a tad chunky the quality of sound output is extremely clean.


Quality German Schneider XENON glass was my pick of the show but at around £3000 per lens you need to have big pockets to afford them.


No doubt the Sony PXW-FS7 was the camera of the show, everyone wants an FS7. I told at least 6 Canon C300 owners to wait till NAB to see what Canon has to announce.


Another very popular camera at the show was the ARRI Alexa mini, even at £25,000 everyone wanted to have a look at this wee full spec Super 35mm camera.


My camera of the show was the JVC GY-LS300 4K camcorder, JVC have pitched this Super 35mm sensor camera at a great price of £2600 and with a micro four thirds mount you have a ton of glass to choose from.


Loved this wee chap the BuggyCam which was on slow mode riding around the CVP stand, you can hire this wee chap from


This handheld gimble from Shape was another show stopper and so easy to use at £500 its a steal. I took it round BVE and it was flawless.


The Alphatron Bi Colour light was the camera top light of the show, its extremely robust, priced at £180 and has a TLCI of 84 (Television Lighting Consistency Index) which is extremely high score for any camera light.


Least I forget the new range of windshields from Rycote. The Cyclone is a furry less windshield thats so easy to remove and works a treat, it lists at £416.

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

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