Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


This was the last job I used my Canon C300 on, producing a wee doc for Glidetrack along with my Panasonic GH3 as a 2nd camera. It was the second cameras pictures that convinced me that my C300 was on its last shoot.

Limited to 720 50p the C300 was becoming a real bind, a camera that should have started out with 1080 50p…instead limited to 1080 25p… it’s final downfall.

Let me take you back 25 years my boss Chris Attkins told us that “in order to produce the best end result you need to film with the best quality you can afford” in those days we had Sony lo-band Umatic recorders and orange JVC KY1900 cameras.


So that’s why the C300 was sold it was becoming very limiting filming 720 50p and the sooner I sold it the more I would get for it as the Panasonic GH4 was just round the corner.

The Panasonic GH4s duly arrived along with my Panasonic PX270 camcorder.


The PX270 was used in a couple of news storys, one of them was at Celtic Park when the new manager Ronnie Deila arrived, using LongGOP 50, 1080 50p the results were very good indeed especially onto SDHC cards. The PX270 was made for this type of work, this is where the DSLR falls flat on its face.

You need a variety of quick, varied shots on a news story and sometimes at the end of a 22x zoom, you don’t get 22x servo zoom lenses for DSLRs…certainly not one that’s practical.

My two Panasonic GH4’s arrived and were as good as I had hoped they would be, one had the XLR adapter called the YAGH which was almost as dear as the camera itself.


The other one was rigged out for run and gun using the new hybrid digital Sony radio mic system. The Cambo rig was used during the GH4 review and sadly returned to Charles at Cambo UK after the review.


Having 2 matching cameras was a major bonus but unfortunately that did not last long as the GH4 was fantastic in most areas it lacked in one critical mode…low light.

Set the GH4 to 6400 iso and you are in noisy picture land this was never so illustrated when filming in dark low lit restaurants, hence the reason for getting rid of one of my GH4’s. In it’s place came the sought after Sony A7s… now this camera takes low light filming to a new level, forget 6400 iso this camera works at 12800 iso with little to no grain and it goes all the way up to 409600 iso with lots of grain.


So that’s almost 2014 kit wise apart from the Sony PXW-X70…once again I had to sell my PX270 in order to afford the X70 but why…both cameras are 10bit 422 so what drew me to the X70.


I think Alister Chapman drew me to this camera with his comments about how good the pictures were and his video was relatively grain free, having had the camera for a few weeks now its proving its worth and its the only video camera to date to match a GH4 for outstanding quality and I was not expecting such a performance out of such a small camera.


I still remember the first interview I did with the camera when I watched the shots back at base my jaw dropped at the clarity, grain free solid picture, stunning to say the least, something I had only seen from my PMW-350 which cost me £10K upwards.

Every so often a camera appears that defies all the odds and the Sony PXW-X70 is one of those cameras.

What about 2015 well as they say in all good books thats another story.


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.

3 thoughts on “My kit during 2014

  1. What shoulder rig are you using with the Sony PXW-X70? Do you have any other recommendations for that camera?

  2. hmmm that small shoulder orange JVC … maybe it’s time to go back to that design? imagine the X70 with that kind of ergonomics. small and light but glued to the shoulder with a real viewfinder and a solid grip. and that was 25 years ago?

  3. We are in full agreement with the PXW-X70. After ignoring Sony HD products for several years, we decided to give the X70 a try. We had already tested and dismissed the Panny 370, 270 & 250 and the Canon upgrade from the XA-25. The X-70’s video quality, combined with features and price point, not to mention 1080P 60 422 on XAVC Cards, made a nice fit for our production and legal video work.

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