Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Excel as a venue is far better in my opinion, it was heaving with people, great for parking and a dedicated train station, even hotels are on site but be warned we were  in a Travelodge 3 miles away and it was half the price of the same lodge onsite.


This GoPro picture was taken about 10.30am and not representative of the crowds of people that turned up around lunchtime.


CVP had a shooting gallery allowing you to try many of the latest camcorders including the Sony NX3.

lens lens-int

The boys from Kine Lenses were very happy with attendances, they recondition Zeiss SLR lenses for use in cinematography.


Finally the stand of the show went to Panasonic but strangely not for broadcast reasons, the GH4 was on show and it was the camera of the show, everyone wanted hands on, lots of questions as well to the Lumix reps, in fact I can exclusively reveal that without a card in the camera you can take the camera’s HDMI output into an external recorder giving you 10bit 422…I like many others thought that was only possible via the SDI adapter.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

One thought on “BVE 2014 roundup

  1. Hi Philip, as a GH3 owner it was good to get a brief ‘hands on’ with the GH4 and, having compared it side by side with my own GH3 (also with same 12-35mm lens), my impression was that the upgraded rear display and LVF (& its optics!) are usefully improved over the GH3’s. On the more technical side I quizzed the helpful Panasonic guy shown in your pic (forgot to get his name) about some features I was interested in. One was whether the Ex-Teleconverter mode (1920×1080 pixel for pixel crop from the centre of the frame) would work at 50/60p as, frustratingly, my PAL GH3 only allows it at 24/25p. He said they’d tried it and it worked so that would be good news as I prefer to shoot at 50p whenever possible (something I forgot to ask was whether the ‘overcrank’ of up to 96fps would also work with the Ex-Tele mode enabled?). I’m hoping that the new sensor, processor and higher bitrate codecs will mean the GH4’s Ex-Tele mode will be cleaner than that on the GH3 where it is slightly noisy compared to the full frame setting.
    I also asked if UK/European versions would still be artificially ‘crippled’ with the 29min59sec recording limit? His reply was that he thought it would have that limit but some final specs. may possibly change before the final release date. I suggested that, as the camera is now a switchable ‘World Camera’ there would be many people (me included!) who would simply import a GH4 body from the USA or elsewhere to avoid being stuck with a ‘crippled’ version.
    I suspect that most potential customers for the GH4 are mainly interested in its video capabilities (there are better stills orientated cameras available for less money …not that the stills from the GH3 & GH4 are bad in any way!) and would therefore be willing to pay the extra European taxes to have a proper unlimited ‘video camera’ rather than sneaking it in under the pretence that it’s a ‘stills camera’ which ‘just happens’ to shoot broadcast quality video (& even 4k!) …aw come on, be serious! At least give us the choice as a ‘GH4v’ (video) version at extra cost or even as a paid official upgrade option for the regular GH4 body?
    I also pointed out that when the GH3 was launched, Panasonic UK chose to overprice it (relative to other markets) at around ~£1250+ for the body as compared, for example, to the US price of ~$1300 (~£800 at the time) which, even with the addition of UK Import Duty & VAT, equated to around £1000! It was also available in Europe (for those requiring the PAL version) for considerably less than the UK price (with no extra Import Duty/VAT to pay!).
    If they choose to do the same again there will be even greater reason to import a ‘non-crippled’ switchable (PAL/NTSC) body from elsewhere.
    I have high hopes for the GH4 as it appears to be significantly improved in almost every way over the (already very good!) GH3 …let’s just hope there aren’t too many ‘flies in the ointment’ by way of regional, pricing and availability issues when it finally comes to market!
    A final suggestion Philip, I don’t know how much extra the European ‘Video Camera Tax’ actually adds to the price of any given camera (%?) but perhaps you could run a quick poll of your website readers to ask how many would be happy(ish!) to pay the extra on a camera such as the GH4 to buy it in unlimited form?
    Then, perhaps, you could pass on the results to Panasonic UK/Europe before they finalise the release version of the camera?

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