Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


2014 started off with my review of the Sony PXW-Z100 4K camcorder at the Falkirk Wheel, this was my first taste of 4K 50p pictures but record times were shocking, Sony supplied one 32G XQD card which gave you 7m of record time. Even 4K 25p only gave you 10m totally unpractical. Low light on this camera is not recommended, on the positive side you got a cracking HD picture producing 422 10bit footage.


Also during January we started filming a documentary for Glidetrack, this was to be my last outing with my Canon C300, a great workhorse but I was ready for my move over to the Panasonic GH4 after seeing my second cameras performance during Alastair’s interview my GH3 I was convinced the C300 had had its day.


Then during February a trip to BVE in London where we filmed with a Panasonic GH3, Sony NX30 and a GoPro 3. The small form factor of the GH3 was to prove invaluable getting interviews along with the Tascam DR60.


It was April before I got a taste of the Panasonic AJ-PX270 a fantastic camera that I had a play with during BVE, the 10bit 422 specs made me buy one of the first PX270’s and what a joy.


The secret to the PX270’s picture quality was the LongGOP 50 setting which in this particular camera was the sweet spot for amazing 1080p footage. The downside was the inability to ingest LongGOP footage into FCPX and that took a further 8 months to cure !


During my user review of the 270 I wangled a trip to Glasgow Airport to film a new Emirates A380 airbus arriving and we also go to see the luxurious passenger deck.

April is also the time for NAB and the big story of the show was Blackmagic’s URSA camcorder. It is a bruit of a camera weighing in at 7.5Kg without lens and battery pack !


May was the month for my GH4 video review, I was the first person in Scotland to own 2 GH4’s which became very handy as I did not care to compromise on the filming using a GH3.


This is me up Carlton Hill in Edinburgh, where I shot some fantastic footage for the review. The GH4’s are cracking cameras once again producing some of my best 1080p footage to date, the increased quality of the mirror less viewfinder was one of its strongpoints though I came to admit adding a loupe to the LCD gave you such a better defined picture to focus with.

During June I was asked to step in to produce a 2 day event called Tallent Fest, using a GH4 and my PX270. We also had a crew from ITV’s Shiver as you can see cameras everywhere.


I was producing interviews with my GH4 in another room and using my LEDGO ring light.


Double click on one of my interviewee’s to see the 1080p picture from the GH4.


So far I started the year with a Canon C300 and a Panasonic GH3 and by the end of the first 6 months had two Panasonic GH4’s and a Panasonic PX270.


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.

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