Lite PANELS reply to “web of anger”

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Litepanels Intellectual Property Statement

Is Litepanels trying to claim that they own the patent on all LED panel based video lights?

Litepanels filed for patent protection of its technology when we first began developing the application of LED for use in the media/creative arts of film, television and photography. We do not own patents on all LED technology. In fact, our patents specifically refer to the application of full spectrum, white LEDs for image capture in those mediums. Litepanels lighting products also include a number of preexisting technologies for which we pay licensing fees to the owners of those patents. We seek similar licensing agreements with companies that wish to use our intellectual property.

We are firm believers in free, fair competition and the patent system that allows our economy to flourish. In order to protect the specific technology we developed, Litepanels was required to prove the validity of our patents, and the facts of this particular case have been heard and decided in an unbiased and open forum. The defendants were allowed ample opportunity to present their best evidence and arguments against the validity of our patents, with the result that our claims to our intellectual property were upheld.

Why are these products patent-worthy?

Litepanels was founded by industry professionals with backgrounds in lighting, professional photography and engineering who understand and appreciate the importance of protecting intellectual property. In the entertainment and creative industries, intellectual property can be a screenplay or an iconic photograph. Our intellectual property consists of the technology which makes full spectrum, white light emitting diodes useful for illumination and proper image capture in the creative arts. The design, development and effective implementation of LED technology evidenced by our patented products took years to research, test, develop and manufacture.

Clearly LEDs alone cannot constitute a product sufficient for professional use in photographic applications. There are a number of technical challenges that had to be overcome before LEDs could be employed effectively for such purposes. These challenges included, but were not limited to: thermal management, precision of color temperature, smooth and flicker free dimming, and the requirements for alternate power input capability. Thereafter all of these technologies had to be combined in a way that would meet the high expectations of film, video and photography professionals.

We continue to develop, design and assemble innovative fixtures based around full spectrum, white LED technology, a pursuit which allows us to employ dozens of people in our Los Angeles office and assembly plant.

Is Litepanels trying to use their patents to block competition and force everyone to pay higher prices for LED lighting?

We are not trying to monopolize or block all LED lighting fixtures from the market. The recent ruling is directed at manufacturers who are unwilling to pay licensing fees and infringe on Litepanels’ intellectual property. In fact, there are a number of companies who have chosen to license our technology in order to build their own LED fixtures, just as we license some technology from others for our products. We welcome more manufacturers to license and implement our technology to ensure its widest possible acceptance throughout the market. We do not expect the results of these intellectual property conflicts to dramatically affect the prices of LED fixtures in the future.

There are also companies in the industry who have taken it upon themselves to establish their own research and development initiatives to create new kinds of LED fixtures and other innovative forms of lighting. They are not infringing on our patents and continue to bring welcomed innovation and healthy competition to the market.

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

Sony’s Digital Archive guaranteed for 50 years €5,000

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments

I first saw this mentioned on the Look round IBC with Phil Myres, this is a far more comprehensive look thanks to Rick Young of Movie Machine. A good idea but priced at €5,000 will not be an all time best seller for Sony.

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

Filming the Gekko Lite Review

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Started the filming this afternoon of my Gekko Lite review, the Kelvin TILE on my left and the Karess Lite on my right.

I am also filming a patient on Friday evening for my type one video and will use the two Gekko lights, the patient is a good friend so he won’t be bothered if I use some of his footage in my review.

I did the comparison tonight between the Gekko lights and the Chinese lights using a light meter and you will have to wait for the review before I tell you the results.

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

X Effects from Idustrial Revolution for FCPX $49

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XEffects 3D Transitions are 24 effects for Final Cut Pro X all built in 3D space with camera moves, variable focal lengths, shallow depth of field, lighting and reflections.

Gorgeous glossy transitions all animating with 3D depth that make other effects look rather flat. We say 24 effects, but if we broke the presets down individually, there would be over 100 different different transitions in the pack!

By harnessing the power of Motion, we have been able to construct all the effects in a 3D environment and thus bring the camera controls and more to the editor. A page turn now looks like a realistic page turn.

Variable focal length allows the control of the 3D depth of the effect. Adjustable depth of field gives the user a choice of defocusing near and far edges or keeping everything pin sharp.

Directional lighting adds to the photo realism of the transitions as do fully adjustable reflections. $49 buys you the 24 effects in the pack or you can test out the transitions on your projects by downloading the watermarked trial for free.

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

Finally taken the decision to work with Premiere Pro CS6 and FCPX

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

After using FCPX for a month I took time out to film a DVD for the Scottish Government about Type One Diabetes. I have a month before the big edit so I have been re-assesing my editing choices…FCPX v Premiere Pro CS6.

FCPX is more of a fix-it for me, adding various filters like “Callouts” and Green screen work. Green Screen is exceptional on FCPX and will be my 1st choice from now on. I don’t yet care for the “events” or bins I prefer a clean canvas to work with which is where Premiere Pro comes in.

Premiere Pro CS6 is very like my much loved FCP-7, you start with a clean canvas and add footage as you go along, having a Cuda enabled Mac makes Premiere very responsive and better still Adobe have given editors like me a head start with FCP keyboard shortcuts so I don’t have to waist time re-leaning Premieres shortcuts.

So armed with two editing systems I am now logging about 6 hours of footage on a 3TB hard drive naming my interviews and various clips ready for the big edit next month. I will edit mainly on Premiere then produce graphics on FCPX and Motion 5.

I still can’t get smooth motion via HDMI out of my Black Magic Intensity Pro card or my Matrox MX02 Max from FCPX running 720 50p yet the same footage plays just fine using Premiere so my conclusion is that FCPX is the culprit which is another reason not to use FCPX for a long hall edit.

Both platforms have their strengths so it makes sense to expand my workflow to incorporate both and why not, I will let you know how I get on next month. The Gekko video review will be edited on Premiere at the end of this week.

Matt Davis…”It has to be said… if you need to knock out a 2-7 minute video for the web from ‘over-shot’ rushes that are from, shall we say… dull subjects, FCPX is still the Absolutely Fabulous choice.

Trouble is, when you need Timecode (especially Time of Day), when you need to combine a LOT of rushes, when you need to deal with a LOT of versions, and when you need to manage archiving and backups of a Big Hairy Audacious Project, FCPX is just a complete and utter Jessie. Not in a cute ‘oopsie’ sense, but in a huge ‘disaster approaches’ sense.

There will be many of us who hate to love FCPX, and love to hate it too. Trouble is, it’s like Uncle Henry – who thinks he’s a chicken – we’d take him to the doctor but we need the eggs. FCPX is simply a brilliant short form editor. If you have piles of rushes for a 4 minute edit, Premiere will drown in its own lubrication. FCPX gets it done.

Don’t get me wrong – I hate it. I resent it. Every time I do a project that will involve short form and loads of rushes, it’s like hiring a really nasty, slick Mercenary: ‘Sure, I’ll solve your problems’ (I am going to spend ages cleaning up the mess) – ‘I don’t need management’ (I am going to manage the arse out of this job) ‘and you will have no stress’ (no, I won’t stress over the glitz, but you bet I’m gonna stress over archiving, version control and all the other professional shit you think you’re too cool to deal with – you get paid, I earn it.)”

Yes, sorry, editors do anthropomorphise their software now and again. It’s cheaper than therapy.

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

Premiere Pro CS6 “Media Pending”

Categories: Miscellaneous 6 Comments


If you are editing in Premiere Pro CS6 and get a “Media Pending” after importing a file, look at the file structure to see if there is more than one MXF file in the folder. I waited over 10 minutes for the “pending” to disappear on a file that was less than 60s long.

If this is the case you will need to drag and drop the second file onto your desktop or a new folder in order for it to work properly in Premiere Pro. I don’t yet know if it’s a fault with the C300 or a bug in Premiere Pro.

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

Kelvin TILE User Review and Karess lite 6006 Review next week

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For all the times I have spent at IBC and BVE one LED manufacturer stood out from the crowd…GEKKO. Last week I proudly bought a Kelvin TILE from a great promotion CVP were running, I finally owned a UK manufactured LED Bi-coloured light for £480 with “V” lock or £420 without “V” lock.

I am a big fan of cable free lighting so the “V” lock version was a no brainor for me.

The Kelvin TILE is not only a video light that ranges from 2200K to 6500K but you also have a film preset as well. With DMX control the Kelvin TILE also gives you the unique ability to turn your Bi-colour LED light into a light of many colours.

Using a “Gekko Paintbox” it’s easy to dial in any colour you fancy but if the best part of £500 does not sway you to part with your cash you can also use a laptop or in my case a MacBook Air with a £130 Enttec USB PRO DMX box and download a free DMX control app from the Apple APP store and control the Kelvin TILE for £130 plus a 2m 5pin XLR DMX cable for about £25.

The Karess lite 6006 is a very powerful 5600K LED light that out performs all but none of my cheaper Chinese LED lights for sheer light output alone and makes a great bounce light for my Canon C300.

Both the Karess and Kelvin lights are built to last with heat sink frames that are admittedly a lot heavier than the cheaper LED lights but it also has an air of quality not a word you can pin onto the plasticky LED lights from China.

Gekko are built in the UK and I look forward to showing off the best of British in my User Review Video next week.

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

“Reviews and User Reviews…What are they worth ?” Updated

Categories: Miscellaneous 13 Comments


The important part of the title is USER, a user review is usually far more informative with its findings than a review because the person is telling you his/her opinion from the coal face, in other words they own the camera they are reviewing.

Alister is a Sony Independent Certified Expert (ICE) and is used by Sony all over the globe to talk about Sony cameras so it’s no surprise that he gets first pickings to look over their camcorders.

You wont find a more technically competent chap than Alister when it comes to cameras in general but my gripe here is with Sony not Alister.

If you choose to make a camcorder like the Sony EA50 then you need to be man enough to have it reviewed warts and all, cameramen and women rely on reviews to make the first step towards buying a product.

Sony have NEVER offered me a camcorder for review yet they have sold plenty NX70s on the back of my user review, why should I go out my way to review a camera that I already own and thanks to my efforts on this web site got Sony to issue a firmware upgrade to improve the zoom control on the NX70 and add 720 50p.

The Sony FS100 is a perfect example, Nigel Cooper slated the camera when he was given one to review and Sony were reeling at his comments, I got one two days before reviewing the NX70 and found it to have a fantastic picture less it’s failings, no ND, plasticky and no HD SDI, Sony changed after Nigel’s findings and not for the better.

DSLRs are sent to various web and magazines for technical review but early information on new camcorders is very tightly controlled by manufacturers like Sony claiming that “we only have one demo model in Europe” bollocks.

It seems to me that Sony don’t want YOU the end user to see anything written or reviewed unless they have some control of the information. Alister is a Sony man and he would be the first to tell you but he is an honest man and that’s more important.

He is honest enough to tell us that the EA50 is not his cup of tea but will be a good camera for the wedding and event market place, honest enough to tell us that it’s not as technically sharp as his FS700 or F3 but that’s only one mans opinion.

So what’s my gripe…Sony need to get more cameras to more reviewers to give the customer a truly informed choice when taking those first steps towards a purchase and stop controlling the press and PR when it comes to new video products in the UK.

Sony are not the only culprits, Canon recently spent a small fortune promoting the new C100 but end users want real life reviews and pictures, how the camera compares to a C300 for example and more importantly will it be good enough to make you money.

If a product is good enough to be submitted for public sale then you should be confident enough to have it stand up to professional critique.

The right of reply…

Alister Chapman “I get paid by Sony to do a lot of things for them. Workshops and training, tutorials and yes, reviews. I don’t hide this, nor do I pretend that I don’t have a close working relationship with Sony or that I like Sony products in general. My relationship with Sony is clearly explained on the Bio and information page of my web site:

At the end of the day I am a freelance DoP. I live and die by my reputation, so I can’t afford to gloss over problems or issues because if I don’t raise them, when others find the issues it would appear that I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t believe that there is any reviewer, whether that be for books, cars, cameras etc that doesn’t have some bias one way or another. For example, if you have had a bad experience with one manufacturers products in the past, then that will likely affect your opinion of other products. If you like the style of one author then your opinion of others will be biased. We all have our favourites in life. Reviews, which are after all opinion pieces, by there very nature will be personally biased, unless done by robots or someone that has absolutely no prior knowledge of the subject, in which case the review may have no real value as it is after all the opinion part that most people want to hear.
To Sony’s credit, they have never asked me to edit my reviews other than corrections to things like specifications or model numbers etc. The EA50 review was something that I decided to write as I had the opportunity to use the camera while shooting some training videos. I was not paid to write the review and Sony did not see it before it was published. I did find issues with the camera and lens and I raised these in the review.
Ultimately I could just write glowing fault free reviews of Sony’s products, but where would that get me or Sony? Eventually no one would trust my reviews or believe what I say, so I would be of no value to Sony and I would not have the reputation for honest reviews that I do currently have.

It is in my best interest to be honest and not to gloss over faults and issues. I’ve openly criticised Sony on many occasions.

Writing reviews for the internet is a difficult situation. It can take hours or even days to put together a review. I don’t make any money from my blog, hell, when I put several gigs of clips online and ask for small donations to cover hosting fees I’m lucky if I get $10, despite hundreds of downloads. So the money has to come from somewhere. Contrary to what many may think I don’t get any special deals or discounts from Sony on the cameras I buy. I have to purchase them from a dealer just the same as anyone else.

Regarding demo gear. Even I struggle to get demo gear from Sony. They rarely have more than 2 demo units to cover the whole of the EU. I have to go well out of my way sometimes to get a camera for review, travelling to where the camera is in many cases.”

 You can read Alister’s excellent review here..

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

Kine Lenses

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Kine Lenses specialises in refurbishing classic lenses for the use of cinematography in film and television. With super 35mm sensors booming at Kine Lenses we deliver affordable sets of lenses that will keep you shooting for decades.

With camera technology firmly stuck in sprint do the sensible thing and invest in glass. At Kine Lenses we only deal in the best optical design, Zeiss.

These sets of lenses are perfect for the Canon C300, Sony F3, Black magic Camera and a whole range of DSLRs.

All the sets are Zeiss glass of Distagon, Planar or Sonnar. The same optical design as CP.2, MKII, ZF, ZE Lenses at a fraction of the cost.

-Remounted to Canon EF. (Remounting to Nikon is avalible, pleases contact me for more information)
-De-clicked and dampened for a super silky smooth apature operation.
-Geared 360 degrees to allow a follow focus unit at any point on the lens, even dumb side!
-Standardised front of all the lenses to 77mm.
-Pelicase included that has been professionally customised to fit the lenses.
-Optech rubber o-ring back cap that never fall off or let dust in
-Metal screw on lens cap.

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

Where is the new Black Magic Cinema Camera ?

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With everyone and their granny wanting their hands on this camera what has happened to the first supplies two months late ? The New Black Magic Cinema camera was due to ship in July 2012 but delays have not only hampered sales but lack of information has done Black Magic Design no favours…Grant Petty  “I wanted to give everyone an update on where we are with Blackmagic CinemaCamera shipments.

As you know, we have been dealing with a supplier delay which has stalled our ability to build cameras. I thought it might be a good idea to explain in more detail what is going on, and do a technical “brain dump” on the problem so everyone understands the nature of the delay and what we have been doing about it.

Over a month ago now, we completed the testing of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and started production. Very quickly we started to see cameras failing our production testing as they suffered from blemishes on the sensor. These are high end cameras so need to be built to a very high specification.

We started testing to discover the cause of the problem and discovered that the problems were from our second shipment of sensors. The first shipment of sensors were fine. All the cameras you currently see people using had been built from this first batch of sensors and that is why we did not see any issues until we started to build cameras in volume.

While investigating the problem our engineers found the blemishes were in the glass that covers the sensor, and not the sensor itself. This is good because the glass might just be dirty so we saw this as a quick fix, but wondered how a supplier could deliver us sensors that had blemishes, as they are supposed to pre test them.

It is worth noting here what this glass does. Each sensor has a glass cover to keep contamination off the surface of the sensor itself, which is essentially a large semiconductor. If the surface ever got dirty, it would be impossible to clean, however the glass is easy to clean. All sensors have this glass cover. It is a high quality glass with optical coatings, similar to lens glass.

Anyway getting back to the issue, when talking with the supplier, it turned out they had a bug in their test software that tested sensors after the glass had been applied. That’s why they shipped us bad sensors and did not notice. They fixed that problem and could then see the problems we saw and stopped production as about 95% of sensors were suffering this problem with the glass.


The next step for the supplier was for them to work out the cause of the blemishes on the glass. They developed tests for the glass before being bonded to the sensor, and discovered it contained the blemishes on the glass before being used in the suppliers factory. After more testing over the last few weeks, the supplier has discovered the blemishes are caused by a contamination from the packing materials used by the glass supplier to ship the glass to the sensor supplier.

So that’s where we are at now. The supplier is due to get more glass later this week and then hopes to start up production again using new clean glass that will result in good quality sensors that we can use to start building cameras again.

We build our cameras in our own factory on a production line built for the camera so we can start shipping cameras again the day we receive good sensors.

I deeply apologize for the delay in shipping and it has been very frustrating for us as well to be sitting on a completed and tested product for a month that we cannot sell. Especially when people need them urgently.

As you can also see from the breakdown of the problem above, there has been multiple stages of testing to discover the cause of the problem so it has been hard to lock down dates or what was going on until now, so its been hard to update everyone on the exact details.

I hope this update helps people understand the delay. We should know more details about shipping times once the new glass arrives at our supplier.

We also have a new software update v1.1 for the camera due in a few days. The original v1 software did not have DNxHD support so thats now been added, as well as support for lens stabilizers and a bunch of other small features.”

Sourced from Phil Baxter CVP

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

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