Sony and Panasonic jointly develop new optical media

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Sony Corporation (‘Sony’) and Panasonic Corporation (‘Panasonic’) today announced that they have signed a basic agreement with the objective of jointly developing a next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs, with the objective of expanding their archive business for long-term digital data storage. Both companies aim to improve their development efficiency based on the technologies held by each respective company, and will target the development of an optical disc with recording capacity of at least 300GB by the end of 2015. Going forward, Sony and Panasonic will continue to hold discussions regarding the specifications and other items relating to the development of this new standard.

Optical discs have excellent properties to protect them against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them a robust medium for long-term storage of content. Both companies have previously developed products based on the Blu-ray format, leveraging the strengths of optical discs. However, both Sony and Panasonic recognized that optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage in years to come given the expected future growth in the archive market, and responded by formulating this agreement.


Sony previously commercialized a file-based optical disc archive system in September, 2012. Based on optical disc technology that Sony cultivated for its XDCAM series of professional broadcasting products, this system houses twelve optical discs within a compact cartridge as a single, high-capacity storage solution. Each disc within the cartridge holds 25GB capacity, offering a total range of storage capacities from 300GB to 1.5TB.

In July this year, Panasonic launched its ‘LB-DM9 series’ of optical disc storage devices. This series uses a dedicated magazine of just 20.8mm thickness to house twelve 100GB optical discs. A maximum of 90 magazines can be stored, providing a total storage capacity of 180TB. In addition, Panasonic adopted a newly-developed changer system together with RAID technology to offer rapid data transfer performance of up to 216MB/s, while also ensuring high reliability by protecting data from unforeseen faults.

In recent years, there has been an increasing need for archive capabilities, not only from video production industries, such as motion pictures and broadcasting, but also from cloud data centers that handle increasingly large volumes of data following the evolution in network services. Both Sony and Panasonic have a proven track record in developing Blu-ray disc format technologies, and by actively promoting the adoption of a new standard for next-generation high-capacity optical discs, they intend to offer solutions that preserve valuable data for future generations.

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

Tascam DR-60d field recorder for DSLRs £299

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Having had a Tascam solid state recorder I know how well they are built and the DR-60d is no exception. Although built for the DSLR crowd I still think this would be a great stand alone recorder. I hope to have one sent up for review sometime next week.


The DR-60D is the new audio recording solution for on-set filmmakers and videographers using DSLR’s. For years, filmmakers

have been trying different methods for recording audio – includng the use of  bulky recorders designed for music and trying to transform the inferior audio technology built-into DSLR’s. Now TASCAM has designed an answer that pros and amateurs alike have been waiting for.

The DR-60D is a brand new 4-track solid-state recorder utilizing TASCAM’s decades of experience. The recorder utilizes high-grade HDDA pre-amps, legendary AD converters, and a durable but lightweight structure and shape. This device will fit snuggly under any camera or into any rig, and record up to 96kHz/24-bit high quality audio straight to SD/SDHC media. Filmmakers have at their disposal two 1/4″-XLR Locking Combo MIC/LINE Inputs, 3.5mm Stereo MIC Input, Camera In, Camera Out, Line Out and Headphone Out. Both 1/4″-XLR Combo Inputs supply +48V Phantom Power and the 3.5mm Input supplies Plug-In Power for microphones requiring a bias voltage.

The DR-60D is incredibly easy to use, employing TASCAM’s very popular user interface and external controls for every major operation. The body structure, soft-touch keys and dials are designed specifically to help eliminate handling noise. The multiple record modes include, 4-Channel Record, Auto Record and TASCAM’s Dual Record “Safety Track” Mode make the DR-60D one of the most versatile recorders on the market.


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

Raid 5 allows one hard drive loss

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

Shocking Discovery with FCPX “No complex timelines”

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Complex is the key word…FCPX does not handle complex timelines, in other words if like me you edit a 53m program on a single timeline with greenscreen, graphics and plugins it’s only time before you will eventually break the final straw on the camels back, rendering your project less than useless.

It all kicked off a few nights ago when I went to edit a tutorial about LED lighting, I clicked on FCPX (v 10.0.8) opened up to be confronted by the spinning beach ball of death.

I used an app called “Preference Manager” to trash FCPX’s preferances with no joy then had a brain wave to use a further app called “Event Manager” to hide the two timelines that were causing me the problems…now I have to stop you here and stress that without this app I personally would have been up the creek without a paddle.

Don’t take my word for it here is an entry from Digital Rebellions CEO Jon Chappell…

Jon Chappell (Digital Rebellion) “Some of you may have experienced the beachball of death when FCPX tries to load a project and eventually resorted to force-quitting the app.

In most cases, the app hasn’t hung at all but is just taking a really long time to open the project. If you leave it long enough (8-12 hours) it should eventually open. We recommend running our Project Repair tool to optimize the project file before doing this, as the optimization process lowers the file size and can shave off some loading time.

The reason it is taking so long is that the project has become too complex. A common cause of this is over-use of compound clips, especially compound clips inside multiclips. I have seen this lead to multi-gigabyte project files, even though the timeline was only a few minutes long.

Once the project opens successfully, begin the process of removing the compound clips. FCPX will hang for a short while whenever you try to do anything, but as you reduce the number of compound clips it will become more and more responsive.”

I emailed Jon and asked him “When I open FCPX it opens then beach ball of death. Is this a fault that Apple are aware of and fixing or is the software crap.”

Jon…”I’m sure Apple knows about it but I don’t know if they are fixing it. I know that some people have successfully edited longform media in FCPX on a single timeline but it’s something I would avoid. The best approach is to split it up into smaller timelines and then join them together only when you want to output them. Also try to avoid things that will increase the file size like over-use of compound clips and multiclips.”
Conclusion… Firstly, If you don’t have “Event Manager” from make sure you install a copy today ($4.99), if like me things go belly up this $5 app will literally save your bacon.
Secondly, get in the habit of saving your work out to a separate “safe” drive, you can never have enough backups !I want to edit the way I have always done…start at the beginning of a program and work my way through till I reach the end but FCPX v 10.0.8 does not allow you to do this in long form, it’s far safer to edit smaller chunks and rendering smaller quick times placing them onto a separate timeline avoiding complex layering that can screw you up at some point down the timeline with no warning.

I hope Apple are indeed working on a solution to this but I also think its a limit to the graphic card and hardware in use, I have the best spec Thunderbolt  27″ iMac there is but it seems to me the new MacPro’s will be part of the answer to this solution…I hope I am wrong and an update will cure this crippling “complex” scenario.
Since removing my 53m edit from the project library FCPX is back to it’s old self, I need to add extra footage to my 53m edit fortunately I have a QT backup of the program on my G drive.

We are due an update to FCPX if Apple can cure this problem it will go along way to restoring my faith in FCPX as a long form editor.

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

Is the cloud the future of editing ?

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I recently had a conversation with a few colleagues about editing software and the way Adobe is now presenting its editing package Premiere Pro via the internet.

For a year Adobe are giving you the chance to use Premiere Pro and all the various apps including Photoshop for a reduced rate of £27.34 a month going up to £46.88 a month after the year.

Adobe have learned over the years that their software suites have being pirated giving them a lot less income in return for all their hard earned work, no matter what they throw at protecting their software the pirate within weeks overcomes all their efforts with a keygen that makes the software look legitamate offering the free pirated software access to upgrades.

Hence the move to the cloud, it’s Adobes last chance saloon at overcoming vast sums of lost revenue but it’s also causing a lot of anxiety and resentment among some of their loyal troop who would prefer to stay with a one off payment.

Alistair “I dont want to be beholding to Adobe, it may be £46 a month this year but as we all know prices go up and if your nailed to Premiere you either pay up or Adobe pull the software…electronically”. “I prefer to get CS6 Production Premium up front at a one off cost then you know were you stand”.

Unfortunately for Alistair it looks like Adobe are giving full support to cloud members with updates and new features whilst fully paid up members are not only behind with support but rumour has it that CS6 will be the last Adobe software available on disc.

Another person who will remain anonomous told me that the “boys” have cracked the cloud service as well so it looks like Adobe are onto plumbs if they are looking for the cloud to be their savour.

I personally use Adobe’s cloud for one of my computers at the moment, giving me access to Premiere, Encore and Photoshop and to be honest if you are earning a living out of Adobe’s software £46 a month is not a lot to ask or as someone told me £46 is the monthly coffee bill for a small production house !


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

Aviator Review £750

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Jibs are usually a pain in the butt, far to cumbersome and take up half your boot space, not to mention the weights needed to balance them, until now…enter the Aviator Carbon Fibre Travel Jib.


I used this mini jib on a job recently filming a 4 year old child pretending to be ill as an insert for my type one diabetes DVD.


It was great for getting close to the child without freeking her out and the Sony NX-30 was just the job, using a Manfrotto quick release camera plate.


Adjusting the counter balance could not be easier, unscrew the nut as shown above and with the camera on the jib you can balance the camera via the length of the back pole, either up or down.


In a professional environment you certainly need a quick release plate like the Manfrotto as seen above.


The jib comes with a small red bag that you fill with stones, I use black Chinese polished stones bought from B&Q that are a lot more dense and better for weight than red chuckie stones.

Performance…The pros and cons



1. The sheer weight and size of this jib, it fits into this wee bag, less tripod.

2. You can use it with your DSLR or a small camcorder like the Sony NX-30.

3. The cost of the carbon fibre version is £750.


1. Can be a wee bit fiddley to attach the Manfrotto quick release plate.

2. Because it weighs next to nothing you tend to over compensate the tilt causing a few re-takes.

Conclusion… I really like the Aviator Carbon fibre jib, it’s well made and easy to use. This jib will find its way into many a wedding kit, especially if your using camcorders like the Sony MC50, NX-30, NX-70, JVC GY HM-150, Canon XA20/25 or the Panasonic AC90.

My thanks as always to John Preston from H Preston Media for sending this up to me.



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

A Studio in the making…coming soon

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The reason things have been quiet at HD Warrior is simply down to time. I have just finished installing a new kitchen and decorating my son’s flat then with no time to stop for a breather it’s full on making my new purpose built studio.

I will do a more in depth blog later when things are less hectic but for now things are 100 mph, I have not forgotten the Aviator review, I just can’t spare time to write it.

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

Cameraman hit by stray tyre at todays F1 race

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Formula one cameraman Paul Allen made the news today when a formula one car tyre came off and hit him at great force giving him a broken shoulder and cracked ribs.

He was treated at the medical centre then transported by helicopter to Koblenz Hospital. Mr Allan has been kept there, under observation. Further information from the hospital will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

We hope Paul has a quick recovery and send all our best wishes from HD Warrior.

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

Every camcorder should come with a Dual Record mode

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It’s becoming more apparent as time goes by that many camera operators are having problems with corrupt SDHC cards, this is fine if you are filming the kids but as a professional being paid for your days filming, this is far more serious.

Recently I had a colleague turn up at my door with a 16G Transend class 10 SDHC card that had let him down, no matter what recovery software we tried the card was unreadable.

Now before I get the legion of snobs amongst you telling me that Transend is crap…it’s not. I use Transend all the time and have done so for at least 3 years both SDHC and CF cards. What is crap is that Transend are duped by cowboy card makers and many unsuspecting internet outlets sell the “cheaper unofficial cards”.

My colleague was using a Sony NX-5, although it has 2 card slots you cannot get dual record unless you buy the £700 FMU128 clip on external memory unit allowing you to record onto SDHC and the FMU128, I really think Sony need to review the price of this product.


The Sony NX-30 is a case in point, I got a phone call last week from a fellow user who is thinking of buying a JVC GY-150 specifically to get dual record, this seems a bit OTT but to a lot of wedding and event users backup is becoming essential.

I phoned Sony with this news and was told that although he did not think dual record was possible via firmware on the NX-30 he would email the factory with the request. I cant understand this as the NX-70 was updated to dual record only last year.

All the present JVC camcorders have dual record as do the Canon range, most of the new Panasonic SDHC camcorders like the AC160 have dual record as standard.

It must become the defacto for manufacturers to provide dual record, especially on SDHC enabled camcorders as without this feature sales will suffer.

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

The Aviator ” A jib…almost in your pocket”

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The main thing that puts me off jibs is the weight and size so much so that my £1200 jib lies dormant in my garden shed.

I was sent an Aviator to review recently and was very surprised by the size of the box it came in, not to mention the weight….

I am still reviewing the Aviator alongside a DSLR and a Sony HXR-NX30 camcorder so look back later this week for a full review, not to mention turning a garage into a permanent studio for both video and photography.

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

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