14 CF cards for sale 32G £10 each

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For-Sale-UD 1


These cards were used on one filming job with my Canon C300 and have sat in a plastic box since. You can have the benefit of buying them for £10 each plus £1.50 P&P UK only.

Send me an email to hdwarrior@me.com if you are interested. Note. A bulk purchase will be £10 each card plus £3.50 P&P UK only.

Me C300

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

Sony’s FS5 under investigation

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Investigation title

Today Sony has issued a statement about all the potential picture problems people are discussing on the internet, its probably halted sales and when this happens a company has to act fast.

Sony  “ We are aware of this perceived issue with the PXW-FS5 performance. Sony is investigating this matter as a matter of priority and will work with users to understand the specific issue they are facing. Any actual issue will then be addressed in the most appropriate manner by our engineers”

FS5 hand

Dan Chung “It should be noted that many prominent bloggers who have shot with the camera have not complained of having the same problems. Furthermore Sony Independent Certified Expert (ICE) Alister Chapman published an article questioning why some users are expecting an artifact free image when shooting at 3200 ISO and recording internally in 8-bit?

This has prompted an extremely long chain of comments and debate which you can read if you have the time. I think Alister’s technical analysis of why the issues occur is accurate – especially the part about not shooting S-Log in super low light, although I’m not convinced that the argument that we should not expect better from the camera will go down well with news and documentary shooters who often have no choice but to shoot in very dark conditions.”

HDW “I have not seen any picture problems with the FS5 to date, the only noted picture problem was 2 out of focus shots which were lens related and not the cameras fault. I set my FS5 at 0dB then creep up to 6 or 9dBs if needed. It matches the FS7 in HD 10bit 422 perfectly, I used both of them on a 2 camera shoot late December and the pictures from both cameras could not be better.

If I had seen a problem I would be one of the first to be banging on Sony’s door for a fix but we can only wait for Sony to get back to us with their findings ASAP.”

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

Rycote Super Softie Review coming soon

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Using my Osmo recently with my older Rycote softie I noticed some wind noise which I was unaware of till I got back to base, I was using the new RODE NTG-4 short shotgun mic with the older softie.

I phoned Rycote and they were delighted to send me a sample of their new Super Softie for review…the results were…ahh now that would be telling.

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

Sonys FS5 with mixed reactions…”its a very capable camera in the right hands”

Categories: Miscellaneous 9 Comments

Sony FS5 MR

Only today I got another phone call from a disgruntled FS5 user complaining about its noisy picture. Part of the problem is caused by Sony themselves by not producing an E mount servo zoom lens fit for purpose. The other problem is the cameras style…it looks like a cut down FS7 and users are expecting the noise figures of the FS7 in the FS5 body.

A company looking to film 4K part exchanged their Canon C100 and are now regretting this deal as they claim their FS5 is noisy compared to their C100. These complaints are a small drop in the ocean compared to some forums on the internet.

The “kit” lens for the FS5 is an older Sony G lens the 18-105 f4, 6x servo zoom. This lens came out about August 2014 mainly to accommodate the likes of the FS700 but at f4 this lens is seriously lacking “F” stops compared to other lenses on the market.

G lens

The kit lens does come with some advantages…

  1. Its a constant aperture lens at f4
  2. 6x servo zoom
  3. Holds its focus throughout the zoom range
  4. Sony have updated the autofocus in the FS5 giving you face detection which works extremely well

Starting at f4 gives this camera a serious disadvantage indoors as it promotes the use of extra gain or the need for extra lighting.

Sigma lens side

People are telling me they are disappointed with the FS5s low light capabilities, now thats not surprising if you are stuck with the kit lens but add a Metabones adaptor and a Sigma 18-35mm ART manual zoom f1.8 Canon fit lens and things are a lot brighter.

FS% side UD

The Sigma covers a lot of bases apart from the tight end even with the s35mm sensors 1.5x crop factor, the field of view (35mm) is 27 x 52.5mm but with “Clear Image Zoom” you get a further 2x digital magnification so your 52.5mm becomes 105mm giving you the same throw as the kit lens but with one major advantage…f1.8 rather than f4.

One disadvantage of the Sigma is it does not hold focus from 18-35 but as its a photographic lens this is not a surprise.

To be fair the Sony FS5 will happily go up to 9dBs with little to no noise in the picture and further if needed but you have to be aware of the limitations, Sony have deliberately not given us a cut down FS7 for obvious reasons, compared to a Canon C100 once again they perform in their own unique ways and you don’t get 4K with a C100.

I keep pointing out the obvious but most cameras are noisy beyond 9dBs, I use 0dBs as much as possible because the camera produces the best pictures at 0dB/1000 ISO. I don’t bother with ISO as its the same thing but far more confusing.

Conclusion : I think some people think they are avoiding the cost of buying an FS7 by buying an FS5, while FS7 owners like myself have no expectations, they know they are buying a “B” camera and treat it as such.

I use the FS5 as a “B” camera or run and gun as the FS7 is quite heavy to hold compared to the FS5. There is a lot of sexy footage out there using the FS5 but I hark back to the demo footage produced by Den Lennie for Sony, …its a very capable camera in the right hands.

Sony PXW-FS5 Launch film “Free Spirit” from Den Lennie on Vimeo.

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

FOMEX Flexible LED light from Production Gear…Video Review coming soon

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FOMEX title

I saw this being demonstrated at NAB last year and have kept a close eye on it, finally Production Gear announced it on their web site yesterday and phoned me to see if I would like a demo kit to do a review.

This is no ordinary LED light as we have seen before the sheer flexibility alone makes this light unique. With a CRI score of 96 it has a fantastic colour purity.

Only a video can show you how good this product is, I hope to get the light later on this week and as soon as its here I will be on the case.

Fomex 2

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

The Kodak Super 8 Challenge @ $75 per 3 minute film !

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Kodak may be experiencing a revival but in my days of Super 8mm film it cost about £7 per film which included processing and delivery from Hemel Hempstead. The 2016 version will be between $50 – $75 (£35 – £52).

Chinon-Super-8mm v3

This is me back in the 1970s with my Chinon Super 8mm sound camera running at 18fps. Remember your sound was 18 frames ahead of your picture making it very difficult to edit. I ran my camera deliberately at 18fps to gain extra time (About 1 minute) which gave me about 3.5 minutes. A switch on the camera went from 18 to 24fps but unless you were filming for broadcast no one used their Super 8mm cameras at 24fps.

Kodak film 5

The above film is one of the new stock and is Tri-X which is black and white. We used to get our film marked as ASA but Kodak seem to have gone over to Exposure Index alongside DIN. In daylight with no filter the EI is 200 or 24 DIN while indoors is EI 160 or 23 DIN.

I do question the very high cost of todays version at least seven times dearer, that locks out the biggest market…students. I think Kodak are indeed setting out a challenge by charging at least £35 for the new Super 8 film and process, especially as memory today is relatively cheap and video has no cost beyond its initial purchase.

Kodak cam

I do hope the new Super 8 mm cameras are less basic and clinical as seen here especially if they are charging the best part of £550 for the pleasure. It seems todays Super 8mm cameras will take a lot of the guesswork out of exposure with an electronic viewfinder.

Beaulieu 5008-S copy

Now this was the dogs bollocks of Super 8mm cameras a Beaulieu 5008.S (1974), Super 8 sound film professional movie SLR camera with C-mount interchangeable lens Schneider-Kreuznach-Optivaron 1,8/6-66mm. I do hope Kodak have not been stupid to exclude the use of these older Super 8mm cameras ?

Super_8_Round_412_Black copy

Kodak are also looking at a sound version which will be far more appealing to users who have grown up with video cameras, it also takes C mount lenses which might just start a craze for what has been a lens system fit for security cameras to date.

Technical specs…
FILM…SUPER 8 ( extended max-8 gate ) with 50FT (15M) cartridges

SPEED…variable speeds (9, 12, 18, 24, 25 FPS) all with crystal sync


FOCAL LENGTH…fixed  6 MM, 1:1.2 – ricoh lens (optional zoom 6-48 mm lens )

FOCUS / APERTURE…manual focus & iris

VIEWFINDER…3.5″ display that has a standard definition video input and supports swivel +/- 45 degrees

EXPOSURE…Manual exposure built-in light meter for supported speeds of all kodak film types. Manual speed / manual iris setting

Integrated battery and charger via standard USB wall adapter

Control panel via viewfinder 3,5″ TFT LCD

SETTINGS…Via jog wheel as user interface

Kodak side

So there you have it will Kodak revive Super 8mm film or will this be a damp squib, theres no doubt that a few “creatives” and the odd music “video” will be made with the new look Super 8mm cameras but the cost of the film, processing, telecine and cloud storage has made this new Super 8mm price prohibitive. Remember you still have to send it away so that might be 2 weeks ! The “cine camera” prototype leaves a lot to be desired, almost deliberately amateur by design as for its longevity only time will tell.

On a more positive note it will be interesting to see Super 8mm film as we have never seen it before, professionally telecine without the flickering !

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

More Osmo X3 Footage

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

more osmo footage

One of my contacts on Linkedin, Paul Bunyard has made a show reel using the DJI Osmo with X3 camera head.

Paul “In November DJI released its much anticipated handheld 4K camera gimbal system, called the DJI Osmo. I was one of the first to preorder and take delivery of it and since then I’ve used it on my freelance shoots.

It obviously won’t replace its big brother the Ronin that I use for the larger cameras but its a handy tool for shooting in public places and out of the bag quick shoots !

I’ve put together a few clips that I’ve shot with the Osmo, its a fantastic tool for the money.”

osmo scott

My only disagreement with Paul is the Ronin, I hardly used my Ronin due to its cumbersome size and weight on your arms. I can’t see what advantage the Ronin has over the Osmo especially since the Osmo can use the alternative X5 camera.


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

Sony announce a “new” XQD card at CES ?

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments


Sony’s XQD-M series provides users ultra-high data transfer speeds of up to 440MB/s (read) and 150MB/s (write) for stable burst shooting, and the ability to backup 64GB of data in approximately 3 minutes, when using Sony’s newest card reader technology. The XQD format’s unique and robust structure, featuring card thickness and pin protection, and a tough, reinforced outer case is made for reliable use.

As you can see Lexar already have this card so whats “new” about Sonys announcement ? A 256 GB XQD would be new, we already have 400MB/s Sony G cards so whats so special about this card unless its the price. The Lexar 128 GB card is £300 while the Sony card is £114 dearer.

Sony Warning

On top of this Sony have produced this advanced warning telling us that this card will need v3.1 software to work with our FS7 or a Z100…which probably means the Lexar won’t work till we get the updated firmware. Why would you need this card when the “G” series does everything on an FS7 ? My thanks to Rose Jennings for this one.

If anyone can shed light on this Sony announcement please let me know.

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

“ISO is an almost meaningless sensitivity measure for a video camera” Alister Chapman

Categories: Miscellaneous 10 Comments

dB v ISO

As I reported back in October last year ISO is confusing and Alister Chapman has just verified this with a blog article on ISO.

For many years video camera operators only had a gain setting and due to relatively noisy cameras it was ingrained into you not to go above 0dB, so extra light was used indoors to achieve this goal.

People like to impress and think they are technically confident like a so called “Director” who told me to switch my Sony FS7 to Slog as thats the preferred setting…why…did he have a clue why he was asking me to do this…no, only that someone in his past had told him it was “better”.

So now we have a band of so called evangelist camera operators who talk about ISO rather than dBs because its “Cinematic speak”…”Oh I produce films not video”…sorry aren’t you using a video camera !!! I think the term “Digital Cinema” probably suits what we are trying to achieve these days…thank you David.

Remember when you use a film camera your ISO or ASA is fixed, usually at 125 ASA to give you less grain thats why in Cine EI mode on a Sony FS7 you can’t adjust the ISO when its in that mode. The Sony FS5 on the other hand has not got Cine EI, only Slog, but you can still play about with the ISO which you can’t do with a cine camera.

Unless your camera takes good old ASA speed rated film…you are still making a video. “Oh but its 24p”…hard cheese give me 50p anytime, in fact Nolab are just about to launch the digital film cartridge for all you film buffs.


Here we have the Nolab Super 8mm “film’ cartridge at the heart of the Nolab Digital Super 8 Cartridge is a tiny but powerful 5 megapixel image sensor similar to the one in your smartphone. Combined with a custom glass objective lens, the sensor focuses on a ground glass image plane pressed against the camera’s film gate. By using a 5 megapixel sensor we can capture 720p HD footage at the native Super 8 aspect ratio of 4:3.
Processors integrated into the image sensor are able to  process and encode the footage in real time to a removable SD card. Optionally the same processors can apply one of two predefined Film Look color correction filters to the footage.
That sounds simple enough, To allow the Nolab cartridge’s image sensor to synchronize with the camera’s shutter, a unique sensor had to be developed. It’s this design that allows the cartridge to work properly in any camera at any frame rate up to 60 fps.

Back to ISO…If you work mainly as I do with rec 709 stick to dB and you won’t go wrong, 0dB is the world standard setting for the best, quietest pictures your video, cinematic camera can produce.

“Oh but my Sony FS5 is not so good in low light” fine you have 3 options…

1. Boost the gain

2. Add extra light

3. Use a lens with better low light capabilities like an f1.8 constant aperture lens.

Unfortunately because some of the cinematic rantings get through we get a second set of guidelines called ISO which in the words of Alister Chapman is indeed meaningless, so like lemmings we all listen to those ranting on about cinematic this and “must have 24p” that, we have a legacy of two crafts joining forces and confusing the hell out of each other.

If you want the “film” look then use film and stop this utter nonsense of pretending a video camera will produce film when it can’t, it may produce a cinematic look but thats not film.

super8_press v2


Kodak are reintroducing Super 8mm film for all you film buffs the Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative reaches far beyond the introduction of a new camera. The company has built a roadmap that includes a range of cameras, film development services, post production tools and more. “It is an ecosystem for film” said Jeff Clarke, Eastman Kodak Chief Executive Officer. “Following the 50th anniversary of Super 8, Kodak is providing new opportunities to enjoy and appreciate film as a medium.”

Film has generated huge buzz in Hollywood recently as the chosen medium for award-winning movie directors and blockbuster movies. Now the Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative is being applauded by the industry’s top directors, many of whom got their start on Super 8 film.

super 8 canon

Kodak “Shooting Analogue has never been so easy. When you purchase film you will be buying the film, processing and digital transfer. The lab will send you your developed film back and email you a password to retrieve your digital scans from the cloud so you can edit and share in any way you choose.”

Kodak film 2

Now we shall see the men from the boys, ASA ratings input into a light meter, no image stabilisation and about 3 minutes of film per cartridge and no sound track. The cost of buying and getting your Super 8mm film cartridge processed is expected to be between $50 to $75 US.

I have been fortunate to see and test over 25 camcorders over the last few years and have come to realise that sensor size dictates to a greater degree how noisy a camera will be so going by my rule of thumb…

3 Chip 1/3″ camcorders use NR circuits to try and mask chip noise, 1″ single chip camcorders are less noisy at 0dB and give a better shallow depth of field, 3 chip 2/3″ perform a lot better than 1/3″ and tend to be better in low light and super 35mm sensors tend to be able to boost the gain way beyond the smaller sensor cameras and have exceptional depth of field properties. The one thing that is the same with all these cameras is 0dB the same cannot be said about ISO ratings.

For more information on the new Kodak film service: http://www.kodak.com/ek/us/en/Consumer/Products/Super8/default.htm?CID=go&idhbx=super8

More reading from Alister Chapman go here : http://www.xdcam-user.com/2016/01/iso-fiasco/http://www.xdcam-user.com/2016/01/iso-fiasco/

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

4K Blu-ray DVDs due this year

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

4K Blu ray

Samsung, Sony and Panasonic will no doubt be producing some of the first 4K Blu-ray players to accommodate the influx of 4K discs.

Apple on the other hand will have to update their Blu-ray destination for 4K in FCPX and new 4K DVD burners will hopefully be produced. Adobe will be left out in the cold with Encore no longer being supported, that will leave Premiere Pro CC in a very poor position and may even spell the death for the platform.

Its about time 4K was given its place for video producers to have a choice, many of us are still producing DVDs for many productions and having 4K DVDs in your tool bag will offer clients another way to show off their products.

As we all know many of us are using media players or USB memory sticks to output HD and in some cases 4K but it has not caught on and options are what the client wants. The main downside to media players and USB memory sticks is the lack of chapter marking as you get with DVDs


The term UHD is the new buzzword for 16:9 4K footage, adopted mainly by the television manufacturers like Samsung, who have produced some cracking UHD rec 709 televisions for 2016.

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

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