Thursday, May 14, 2015

PARADOX - Looking for Sponsors

This summer, we're shooting the pilot and then two further episodes of a new series called 'Paradox'. Its the story of a time traveller who arrives in 2015 but the process has left him with no memory of who he is, why he's here or when he is from.  Rescued by a random stranger, he begins to piece together the puzzle to find out the answers.  His time machine is clearly ahead of current technology, but it's suspiciously littered with components that date from the past, not the future.  Our protagonist is not left wondering for long as his past (or future) begins to catch up with him.

EDIT>>  Some people have been asking what the 'journey' is for the main character... what is he trying to achieve overall throughout the series. Well, i didn't really want to give too much away, but i guess it's ok and if it helps get it made!  So the protagonist discovers he travelled from the past leaving his 10 year old daughter wondering what happened to her Dad.  For reasons i won't divulge, he can't find a way to get back to her... this is what he is trying to do... this is his ultimate goal. Along the way, he has to avoid countless agencies and organisations from around the world who are trying to steal his technology.

Using the latest in cinematography techniques such as stabilising gimbals, 4K acquisition and low light shooting, we are able to work quickly and efficiently.  We are also writing only key dialogue and then work-shopping or 'ad-libbing' a lot on location.  Talking of locations, we have some fantastic settings for this series which are very much out of the ordinary... 

We are teaming up with various companies to bring this production to life. We have sponsors for most of the key elements, but we are looking for more.

These are the areas we are looking for help with in the form of gear donations/sponsorship:

Digital Storage - SSDs and HDDs for the footage and back-ups.

Lighting - Portable LED lighting solutions for night exteriors.

Handheld Stabilising Gimbal - We want to avoid time consuming track/dolly and jib set-ups.

Lenses - We'd love to shoot anamorphic... 

Audio - Location recorder, radio mics...  windjammers...

Catering - It's a small crew and cast, but we've got to eat/drink. 

Accommodation - A hotel chain tie-in would be very handy.

Car product placement - Our characters travel in a car a lot...  anyone want to lend us one?

Watch product placement - This story is about time. We need a cool looking watch for our hero.

Why would potential sponsors get involved?

We're going to be putting brand advertising at the start of each episode. A short combined ad that says something along the lines of 'This series is brought to you by - ....' and then a flurry of trade marks and possibly some longer explanations of what each sponsor does and how they can benefit you.  This ads won't be like YouTube ads that can be skipped, they will be part of the opening of the episode.

There will be press coverage of the project in broadcast/film publications.

We will also be tweeting regularly from the set and from the post production suite about what we're using and will post web banners etc from each sponsor on the official website.

We are planning on this being a gritty, adult orientated series, with a particular slant towards Sci-Fi fans. That's a huge market... 

Initially, the series will debut online for free. The first 6 episodes will be available on YouTube at no cost to the viewer.  

For more information or to get involved, email us at

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Projects in the pipeline...

I just realised that i haven't updated on what's happening with our various projects at the moment. As with a lot of artistic endeavours, things are pretty fluid and plans change, evolve and sometimes just get canned altogether. So here's where we're at...

7 CASES is finished... Revolver are releasing it in the US and Canada in June this year.  We're not entirely sure what to do with it in the UK. The UK DVD market has collapsed to the point where it's almost not viable any more. No distributor big or small can guarantee shelf space and virtually no one is buying DVDs in the UK anymore any way..  Online may be the way to go for the UK.

HINDSIGHT - which was going to be our next feature - is in development. That's always a scary phrase, but in this case, it's good. We need to up the anté, and this project deserves more time and money. We are working on shooting this in 2016.

CAPSULE - This hasn't been announced by us anywhere yet. It's our next feature, shooting late this year with a stunning 2 piece cast. I can't say any more... but it's Sci-Fi and it's set in 1965.

PARADOX - This is our current project. It's an experiment. A Web-Based episodic Sci-Fi series. Set in the same universe as HINDSIGHT, this is the forerunner...  the prequel before the main event, if you like. Weird, but there it is...    We're talking to various cinema-related companies about sponsorship for this. It's not hugely expensive to make, but we're trying to push some boundaries about what's possible on small budgets and with the latest technology. Shooting in 4K.

So there you go...  plenty going on....probably too much.  As ever, we're keen to work with creative, driven people with a passion for making things happen, so get in touch if you think you have something to offer.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

New Features... free for the Atomos Shogun

Another reason to love the guys at Atomos... constant free updates. Check out this huge list of fantastic new features for the Shogun.  If only all manufacturers were so generous with adding so much functionality without stinging your wallet constantly...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

4K Footage Testing in Hitchin

I went up to Windmill Hill in Hitchin with my daughter, Scarlett on Thursday evening to shoot some lens tests at sunset. We're very lucky in Hitchin to get some amazing views just before dusk and it seemed a perfect time to test a couple of lens options on my GH4 / Shogun rig.

I was testing a vintage Miranda 70-210mm zoom with a Vivanco wide angle adapter on the end.... this long lens is brought back to a relatively wide shot by the adapter, but you get some very wacky optical weirdness which i really like. I then tried the adapter on the Lumix 14-42 for some really wide shots and then on a 28mm Zeiss.  Combined with a 0.9ND filter in my mattebox for most of the shots, i was pretty happy with how they performed. I've got a project coming up that requires quite a lot of shooting into the sun at sunset, so this was really useful.

I've played with the footage in FCPX... adding some extra touches and a more 'sunset-ish' grade.

Editing 4K in FCPX is pretty cool using the proxies for most of it and then switching to the full size files for the export and checking the grade.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NAB - The 4k Revolution is here... but does it matter?

So NAB, the yearly scramble to launch the most exciting/ground-breaking camera or related bit of hardware is over again for another year. What happened?  We got more cameras.. lots more... mostly 4K... and a lot of wide dynamic range and clever colour technology. Highlights include multiple new cameras from BMC - my favourite of which is the URSA mini...  it's got a switchable shutter on the sensor. Yep, that's right... switchable from rolling to global! Madness. And it shoots 4K with 15 stops of DR for £2.5k.... two-and-a-half-grand (not £25k) That is a reminder right there of how far things have come. For what it's worth, Canon launched the C300 Mk2, Panasonic released the DVX200 (a 4k update of the popular DVX100 - which was SD) and Canon also gave us the XC-10 - a fixed lens 4k DSLR type thing.

Am i sounding cynical? Bored even? That's because we're spoilt so much with cameras at the moment that it almost doesn't matter which one we use.  We're so used to stunning resolution and colour rendition that we moan when a camera doesn't do one thing we want it to...  i think it's a given now that each model of cinema camera isn't going to please all of us. (but the URSA Mini is pretty damn close to pleasing a lot of people)

So what's there to get excited about if cameras are blasé now? Now it's time we started looking at the areas we should have been looking at anyway before shallow depth of field and cheap HD took our eyes off the ball. Glass - lenses...  vital and oh so obvious when you use the wrong one.  I can tell when someone has used the popular Canon 24-70L lens on a super35mm sensor...  it's such an over-used lens in indie films. It's a great lens, sure, but it's got a 'look' that is as recognisable as a Magic Bullet preset.  But there's some amazing lenses out there if you know where to look. I've long been a fan of vintage lenses for their unique look and characteristic feel. It's very dull when everyone just hires a set of Cookes or Primos as soon as they get to shoot on an Alexa...  i'd love to see that camera paired with some quirky vintage lenses for a change.

Anyway, i'm still having fun with my GH4 and Atomos Shogun package. The 24p 4K files from the Shogun are truly fantastic and i'm still learning how my lenses interact best with this set-up. One thing i will say though - the 96fps slow-motion from the GH4 really doesn't grade very well. I had to shoot some recently for a promo shoot and the post production was quite tricky.  A much better bet is to shoot at 50fps at a decent bit rate and capture on the Shogun and then use twixtor or optical flow.

Oh, and we finally did a deal with Revolver USA to handle distribution for 7 CASES in the USA and Canada....  it's being released in June.  We're in pre-production on our next movie right now...and scarily, we might be shooting two movies this year!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Atomos Shogun Firmware Update 6.2

It's on the download page at

Shogun 6.2 release notes.

FID: 060406200207

- New feature! Added ability to load 3D LUTs. Load Cube files on SSD (refer Shogun FAQ for file compatibility details) and access via the new Display Options button on the home screen.
- New feature! Record and play back using Avid DNxHD (HD) and DNxHR (4K)*.
- New feature! Downscale 4K input to 1080p (matching frame rate) on the loop out port. Access the setting via the input menu page.
- New feature! Playback now displays a preview frame of the selected clip in the file browser.
- Separate analog gain settings for left and right channels now available via the new audio options page. Enable Mic +48V to use Shotgun and Lavalier Mics that require Phantom Power to operate.
- Larger audio meters for easier visibility of ballistic levels.

Bug Fixes:
- Corrected direction of manual gamma setting.
- Improved drive compatibility.
- Take number is correctly reset after disk format.

*DNxHR requires AVID Media Composer 8.3.1 or later.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Blade Runner - Final Cut at BFI in April

I love Blade Runner... a predictable perspective maybe, but it's just a work of cinematic art in my opinion. Here's the new BFI trailer and cool little analysis i found on Vimeo.  Enjoy.

Analysis of Blade Runner from Steven Benedict on Vimeo.

Monday, February 23, 2015

10 Reasons to love the Arri Alexa Mini

Arri have just announced the Alexa Mini... a dream come true for many cinematographers. But what is it about the Alexa Mini that people are going to sell their kids to get one for..???

  • That Alexa look in a smaller form factor. MoVi anyone??
  • It starts at $32000...  but rental houses will be stocking up i reckon.
  • Wifi Control combined with lightweight construction... perfect for in-car shots.
  • Switchable 4:3/16:9 sensor... so 4:3 is perfect for anamorphic shooting.
  • Internal 4K Pro Res? Yep... and 200fps in HD.
  • Super 35mm sensor.
  • Interchangeable lens mounts.  PL, EF or B4.
  • Built-in motorised ND Filters... no need for screw-on or mattebox for exterior MoVi shots.
  • 14+ Stops of dynamic range.
  • Can import custom LUTS.

Do i want one? Of course... but it's a rental item really at that price.  I'm hoping to have a closer look at BVE tomorrow.  It's interesting that Arri are really cleaning up in cinematography at the moment... just check out what all the Oscar nominated movies were shot on... mostly Alexa. They're certainly giving RED a major beating at the moment. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

GH4 & Atomos Shogun Overview...

Finally got around to putting something together on the GH4 and Shogun. Both very awesome bits of kit... but the Shogun has to take the crown for the best new piece of cinema tech for me.  However, the GH4 is truly fantastic for the price. I didn't mention the dynamic range in the video. I'm not sure how big it is in 10bit 4:2:2 4K mode, but it looks huge. I'd guess around 12 stops.

Excuse all the shots of household running water... the weather was crap on the day i was going out to shoot slow-mo stuff so i ended up shooting around my flat instead.

I'm not overly impressed with the GH4 Cage i've been using, so if anyone has any suggestions of a better one, preferably with some side handles, let me know.

Look out for a more detailed look at both the GH4 and Atomos Shogun working together in Digital FilmMaker magazine in the coming months..

Friday, January 23, 2015

My Favourite Gear of 2014...

2014 was another busy year for me. I shot some very tricky pick-ups for 7 CASES, several music promos and a couple of corporate jobs. I was also often out of the country on tour with various music acts in my day-job as a sound engineer...

But, what filming gear has been in my rig in 2014 and why?

Much like previous years, Atomos featured highly in my kit. I've used both the Ninja Blade and Samurai Blade a lot. I've also been using the Atomos Connect to go from SDI to HDMI.. very useful. I can't recommend the Atomos gear highly enough. It's well built, well spec'ed and just makes life so much easier than messing around with SD cards and other awkwardness like dreadful codecs.

After using the GenusTech GoPro Cage extensively, i tested out their Mini-Jib, PV Matte Box and Bravo Follow Focus. The Mini-Jib is incredibly useful. I've used it on almost every shoot this year. It's light, well built and folds into a tiny little bag you carry on your back. The Matte Box is similarly well built. It's sturdy, the filter trays are very well machined and it's very easy to connect to your various lenses with their selection of lens ring adapters.  (nothing bugs me more than seeing people using a matte box on a shoot, but leaving a huge light-leaking gap between the lens and the matte box... completely pointless!

The Bravo Follow Focus is the best i've used at this price. It's simply stunning. No play at all and the best, most solid and easily adjustable, mounting system. I also really love the adjustable 'end stops' to make racking focus really easy.

It's a real testament to GenusTech that all their gear that i've been using hasn't suffered any breaks at all. I quite often put my gear through some pretty tough times and lesser gear has let me down often in the past.

Finally, i've been massively impressed with the Manfrotto  504HD video head. It's very well built and allows me to achieve some very smooth pans and tilts while keep my rig rock solid when i need it to.

Next time...   i've made the move to 4K for 2015. A complete run down of my Lumix GH4 and Atomos Shogun rig.

Monday, January 12, 2015

10 Things you should know about financing an indie film...

It's that time again. We're putting together the finance for our next feature film project and i'm navigating the choppy waters of raising money for what is basically an artistic project, albeit one that makes a profit. (hopefully!)

I've talked before about how i feel about public funding from the likes of the BFI or other such bodies.  It can be worth a try, but i'd seriously doubt you'll get far unless you tick the multitude of tick boxes they require and know the right people on the inside to even get a serious consideration. I'm not saying it's rigged...  but it's not a level playing field either.

I've always preferred private investment and i'm much happier being entirely upfront with anyone wanting to invest in an independent film.  People wealthy enough to want to invest in independent film, generally aren't only in it for the money. They are buying into the business as a whole... the opportunity to be a part of something that not many people get to do.  We always aim to make a profit, but the harsh reality of this business is that generating a profit can be tough and even when it goes to plan, it can take a long time before the profits trickle through. That being said, the more uncertainties you remove from the project, the better the chances of success. It's undeniable that having a 'name' in the lead role will generate more interest in the film which will probably lead to a much better sales & distribution deal or maybe a high profile festival screening... and the catch 22 is that a 'name' will enable you to find finance more easily.

We're just making in-roads into the financing for HINDSIGHT...  so here's my tips before you go looking for cash for your next project:

  1. Finish the script first! No one is interested in financing a film you haven't finished writing yet.
  2. Put together a package including mood boards, synopsis and casting ideas and put it together with your screenplay in an easy to email PDF.
  3. Have a team assembled. Collate their CVs and make it part of the package for potential investors to see.
  4. Get your lead role actor attached first. This is tough without finance in place, but possible if your script is good enough. A big name will attract other big names as well as finance.
  5. Put a business plan together. Even if it's quite basic, show that you understand how the money works in this business and in relation to your film specifically.
  6. Plan your budget realistically. Can you really feed your cast and crew for a month on a grand? Do your sums, then do them again...don't forget to factor in absolutely everything. Bear in mind that your mates might be happy to live on pizza and basic meals, but any professionals you hire may not. Find out.
  7. Have you budgeted for insurance? If you're working with large sums of other people's money, you will need to insure against issues that might stop or delay you finishing the project.
  8. If you decide to go down the crowd funding route, you are liable to pay tax on the amount you raise. This is counted as taxable income. Too many people forget this. If you do use crowd funding, keep your crowd funders informed. I've contributed to several films which never got made and i never heard a thing about them ever again. Clearly, that puts me off doing it again.
  9. Come up with an equity plan for your investors and stick to it. Be completely upfront about how long it is likely to take to recoup.
  10. If everything goes to plan and you raise your budget, hire an accountant to administer it unless you have one in your team already.

We've got the script, we've got the rest of package and we're approaching the dream team of actors we'd like to cast in the hope that they will sign up to be part of this so we can make it happen.  I'll update soon on how it's all going.

Don't forget to read Digital FilmMaker Magazine every month to read my Q&A pages and check out all the really helpful articles elsewhere in the mag.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Atomos Shogun....shipping in a week!

The long awaited Atomos Shogun is shipping in one week...  i can't wait to play with the Shogun and see how it fares, teamed up with the GH4 and A7S.  4K recording with Atomos workflow and that awesome screen! I predict Atomos are going to be selling out of these very soon...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Canon C100 Mk2

I'm not going to go into detail... there's more than enough on news sites out there, but Canon's new version of the C100 has to be the best bet if you don't need 4K, but you have a collection of EOS lenses.  Nice ergonomics, 50/60 fps slow mo, and a much better screen and viewfinder. The C100 always struck me as the best bargain of the EOS range, especially when you team it up with an Atomos Ninja Blade.. it'll give you the same results as the C300.  The Mk2 version has added internal recording of MP4 files at 35MBps too, so it's usable for some stuff as it stands. The extended iso range is interesting -  i wonder how it's low light performance will be affected?
  • 8.3MP Super 35mm CMOS sensor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Face Detection AF
  • Dual Format AVCHD/MP4 recording up to 1080/60p
  • Built in Wi-Fi and remote control options - ipad control possibly?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Failing on the way to winning...

I'm the first to admit that i'm learning as i go along. I have no training in film whatsoever. I made my first ever music promo about 10 years ago and then didn't pick up a camera again until 2007 when i decided very randomly to make a feature. With no experience and quite a lot of arrogance, i made a micro-budget feature. Bizarrely it got distribution after being available for free on YouTube for a year. It really was utterly awful... bad camerawork, bad lighting, woeful dialogue and and some truly laughable plot holes and acting...(mostly by me)  But... i learnt a lot.

At this stage, i started shooting more music promos and shorts. I realised i needed much more experience behind the camera and also operating the camera! Slowly, i started getting to grips with it.

Then, slightly foolishly, i made another feature. I thought i'd learnt enough to give it another go. But, i was too relaxed in my approach. The camerawork was better, but still not up to par. The editing was better, but still not right...the same goes for the script and the dodgy plot. But, again - i learnt so much.

Now, i could (and some say, should) have released this under a pseudonym, but i'm not scared to show my self-taught efforts... even if the reviews are sometimes painful to read.  I have no excuses for the sub-par end products. No one cares that i didn't spend much money or have an experienced crew, and why should they? I just need to be better.

The funny bit of all this to me is that i'm i'm a very experienced professional sound engineer who travels the world doing world class live mixes for some huge music artists... without blowing my own arse-trumpet - i'm really good at it...  i've been mixing professionally for nearly 25 years.  I see people trying to teach themselves my job and it's funny sometimes... some people just aren't cut out for it.  Am i one of those people, but in the film directing arena? Shiiiiit.... i hope not.

Since then, i've shot upwards of 14 music promos, several corporate promos and another feature...

Why another feature? Because it's the only way to learn. To learn screen writing, to learn direction, to learn good casting, to learn better camera work and editing....  all the music promos in the world don't teach you how to helm a feature. It's brutal. It's unforgiving and it's the only way i can progress.  I've seen features by some very experienced TV promo directors and they suck... it's not easy, no matter how much experience you have.

Is this one better? Yes. It's a quantum leap ahead of anything else i have done. Why? Because i honed it down to the necessary. I kept it simple, i kept it small and i cast people that genuinely 'pop' on camera....people who made me realise how much of directing is casting. It's fantastic to see my screenplay come to life and not want to hide behind my fingers while i'm watching it back.

What's next? Well... i've been busy on the post for 7 CASES most of this year. I'm proud of it and i think it's given me the confidence to ramp things up for my next feature.  Will the next one be perfect? Let's hope so! But in all honesty, it might take a while longer before BAFTA come knocking... i might never completely suss this game out... but i'm going to keep trying and if i can improve each time, you never know.  Like i've always said... just keep going. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Camera choices in 2014 - That eternal question - Which camera to buy?

It's that time again when i'm starting to look at the current camera market and decide what to shoot my next feature on.  As a lot of you know, i work pretty much independently with finance from private investors so it's good for everyone involved if i keep the costs low.  Budget isn't my only consideration though... I shoot a wide range of projects from shorts to features and music promos and sometimes i'm working alone, so i don't want anything that i could only use with a crew... it's important i can operate on my own if i need to.  Then there's the whole issue of owning a camera rather than just renting per project. I do too many little projects that only make financial sense if i don't have to factor in hire costs and the logistics involved with that. I already have a good selection of glass and grip equipment, so not owning a camera doesn't make much sense at this stage.

The next consideration is resolution and dynamic range. 4K shooting for an HD edit makes a lot of sense for me at the moment, and the dynamic range of some of the new cameras is probably more important than that.

So, with the array of new choices, my shortlist has come down to this:

The Lumix GH4 coupled with the Atomos Shogun. - Small, neat and very capable - and cheap.

The Sony A7S coupled with the Atomos Shogun. Again, small, neat, capable and stunning low light performance - slightly hampered by some severe rolling shutter issues.

The BMD URSA. The footage looks stunning, but the weight and size of it puts me off. Great price though. Concerns over the fixed pattern noise seen on the Production Camera too...

The Sony FS7 - This looks amazing, but i'd still partner it with the Shogun to get the convenient workflow and 4K Pro Res capability. Amazing for the money, but still £8K.

The Sony FS700 - Still a beast of a camera with great slow-mo and coupled with the Shogun, a really capable 4K option.

Ultimately, i'll be swayed quite a lot by whichever one feels best. It's mad to decide on a camera on specs alone... there's no substitute for actually playing with one, holding it and using it and seeing how it actually works for you in the real world.

What cameras have i owned up until now? The list isn't huge, but it goes something like this:

Sony DSR200  -This was good at the time.
Sony VX1000  - Very similar to the DSR200...small size made it useful for in-car shooting.
JVC GY-DV500 - A huge beast of a camera. I had the Fujinon asymmetrical zoom lens which was great.
Panasonic AG-DVX100 - A major step up from the previous cams... proper 24p and cine-look profiles.
Canon 550D - my first DSLR and first step in to HD. A great camera. I still use it.
Contour Roam 3 - Great form factor, but not a great performer. Didn't last long.
Go Pro Hero 3 - The defacto action cam. I still use it a lot and will buy the Hero 4 asap.
Sony NEX-FS100 - My current camera. Stunning low-light performance and a great workhorse.

Along the way i also used The Canon XL1S, The Sony Z1 and the EX1,  the 5D Mk2, the Lumix GH2 and more recently, the RED Epic and Canon C300...but i never owned these cameras.

At the end of the day, a camera is just a tool.... i'll get the one that does the best job for the least money and try not to get too carried away with specs.  As i've said before, no one ever asks what a good film was shot on - it really doesn't matter.

Right now we're spoilt. There's a huge array of really excellent cameras and recorders and there's really no excuse to not get out there and shoot something.

One thing i do know though, whichever camera i end up getting next, i'll be sticking with the Atomos way of working. I love my Ninja and Samurai Blades... they make shooting so much more convenient. So, an Atomos Shogun is the future for me...and i think it will be the same for a lot of people moving up to 4K shooting.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

SONY FS7 Lands...

Sony have drop-kicked the competition out of the game again....this time with the launch of the FS7 - a 4K beast at a ridiculously low price point of around $8000.

Anyone looking at the URSA, the AJA CION, the Canon C300 or C500 now has a dilemma... this camera pretty much wipes the floor with all of them in one way or another. Nice job Sony.

Here's the blurb from Sony's site:

  • Ergonomic grip design and adjustable arm and Viewfinder system

    The PXW-FS7 grip, designed for easy handling and operability, is the result of exhaustive consultation with videographers and cinematographers, as well as the production of various prototypes. The shape supports long periods of camera use and flexibly accommodates subtle differences among various users' gripping styles. The angle of the grip can be easily adjusted with the press of a button. In addition to a zoom button and Rec Start/Stop, the grip also has several programmable buttons that can be customized for easy access to any other functions such as the expanded focus function. The length of the arm section of the PXW-FS7 can be adjusted just by turning a knob. Another knob at the joint makes it easy to adjust the angle of the camera. So a user can choose a comfortable style that suits his or her physique and shooting position.
  • Easy settings during one-man operation

    The Peaking and Zebra function buttons and contrast knob are positioned on the side of the PXW-FS7 viewfinder for easy adjustment of focus, contrast and exposure. Also, by turning a single knob, the position of the finder can be set, allowing for degrees of freedom. The viewfinder system is designed that even people with a dominant left eye can use it comfortably.
  • Dust-proof, drip-proof design for use even in harsh environments

    The body of the PXW-FS7 is constructed to withstand tough conditions, with buttons, dials and other parts specially sealed to prevent dust and water spray from entering. Also, the air passageways from the cooling fan are separated from the interior of the camera.
  • Built-in Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe

    The PXW-FS7 is equipped with a Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe that supports connection to wireless microphone packages such as the UWP-D11 or UWP-D12 (sold separately). When connected to the shoe, the HVL-LBPC light (optional) can be turned on or off from the camera, and power and audio connections are provided to the UWP-D11 or UWP-D12 without cables.
  • Equipped with high-sensitivity 4K Super 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor

    The PXW-FS7 is equipped with a Super 35mm CMOS image sensor with approximately 11.6 million total pixels (4352 x 2662) and 8.9 million effective pixels. The high image readout speed of the image sensor allows the PXW-FS7 to support 4K motion-picture shooting and Super Slow Motion. The sensor also realizes a high sensitivity of ISO2000 and a wide dynamic range of 14 stops. Thanks to its full-pixel readout capability without pixel binning and sophisticated camera processing, jaggies and moire. are minimized.
  • Internal recording in 4K* resolution up to 60fps

    The PXW-FS7 supports internal recording at 4K resolution as well as a wide range of frame rates (59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 25P and 23.98P). When viewed on a 4K monitor, footage shot in 4K is reproduced so clearly down to the finest details that it gives a viewer the illusion of actually being within the scene. When viewed on a Full HD monitor, 4K footage boasts even higher resolution than footage shot in Full HD.

    * QFHD 3840 x 2160 resolution from launch. 4096 x 2160 resolution with firmware update, early 2015.
  • Super Slow Motion continuous recording is possible

    The PXW-FS7 offers continuous recording at Full HD image quality and a frame rate of up to 180 fps. This makes it possible to attain up to 7.5x Super Slow Motion when played back at 23.98 fps. Furthermore, support for unlimited shooting at Super Slow Motion means no more mistimed shots leading to extra takes. It also lets you pick out footage at exactly the point that you want.
  • α Mount System for a wide selection of lenses and E-mount that is suitable for movie shooting

    The PXW-FS7 incorporates the α Mount System, with an E-mount lens mount. This is especially useful for motion-picture shooting because the system supports power driven silent auto focus, iris control, power zoom and more, as well as SteadyShot image stabilization and other functions. Moreover, the E-mount system's short flange-back distance (the distance from the lens-mounting surface to the image sensor) enables use of A-mount lenses via LA-EA4 lens adaptor, as well as various other lenses via third-party adaptors. The E-mount system thereby makes it possible to take advantage of a wealth of lens resources suitable for creative, versatile video expression.
  • Supports various formats, including XAVC Intra and Long GOP

    The PXW-FS7 supports two formats, XAVC and MPEG-2 HD 422, which can be selected to suit the application. Two XAVC compression systems (Intra and Long GOP) are provided through an H.264AVC codec. Intra supports recording with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling for 4K and Full HD, as well as a high bit rate of up to 600 Mbps. In Long GOP, image quality and recording time are balanced to allow Full HD recording in 1080/50P with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling at only 50 Mbps, making this format suitable for longer duration shooting. Support is also provided for the MPEG2 HD 422 recording format, which is mainly used at broadcast stations. Supported formats and bit rates are indicated below.
  • Support for S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, SGamut3/S-Log3 and other log curves*

    The PXW-FS7 supports such log gamma curves as S-Gamut3. Cine/S-Log3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3. Due to the fact that 18% grey is set at a bright level, S-Log3 is noted for delivering a wider dynamic range than the 1300% achieved by S-log2 incorporated in cameras such as the NEX-FS700, a difference equal to 1.5 stops. The log gamma itself is close to Cineon log, so colour correction is easier to perform and it is possible to achieve cinematic expression with the look of film. In addition, compared to the colour gamut of S-Gamut3. Cine, which is geared toward reproducing the wide colour gamut of DCI-P2 colour space used in digital cinema, the colour gamut of S-Gamut3 is geared toward the reproduction of almost all actual colours, and is thereby suitable for archival purposes.

    * Support for SLog2, requires firmware update, early 2015.
  • Extension Unit XDCA-FS7 for shooting support

    Extension Unit XDCA-FS7 can be connected directly to the PXW-FS7K to enable the use of functions that support the operator's shooting style or workflow, including Apple ProRes 422* recording to an XQD card in the camera.

    * Firmware update, early 2015.
  • Built-in ND filter unit

    ND filters for adjusting the amount of light are provided in a built-in ND filter unit. This allows shooting to be done with a shallow depth of field without having to stop down the iris, even under bright conditions. The settings are Clear, 1/4 (2eV), 1/16 (4eV) and 1/64 (6eV).
  • Two XQD media slots support simultaneous and relay recording

    The PXW-FS7 has two XQD card slots that enable simultaneous and relay recording. During relay recording, when one medium becomes full, recording continues automatically to the other media. During simultaneous recording, not only can the same footage be recorded on both channels at the same time, but also one channel can be used for random shooting while the other is being used for continuous recording as backup.
  • RAW output for external 4K/2K RAW recording*

    The FXW-FS7’s FS RAW Interface that can be connected to an HXR-IFR5 interface unit and RAW AXS-R5 recorder to enable external 4K/2K RAW recording. The interface also allows the use of compatible third-party external recorders. Full HD footage shot with the unit is time code-synchronized to allow offline editing of the content.

    * Requires XDCA-FS7 Extension Unit.
  • Support for multi-camera shooting*

    Precise timecode synchronization provided by Genlock and Timecode In/Out functions in the XDCA-FS7 Extension Unit enable multi-camera operations.

    * Requires XDCA-FS7 Extension Unit.
  • Catalyst Browse software from Sony

    Free clip management tool for both PC & Mac that supports all Sony professional formats.
    Review footage on location, add metadata and review colour corrections.
    Seamless upgrade to advanced Catalyst Prepare media preparation tool.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Sorry i haven't added much new content lately, but as anyone who knows me will be aware. this time of year is crazily busy for me. I'm touring a lot and i also have to fit some downtime and holidays in too.... but, there is a lot going on behind the scenes, so here's a run down of what's happening...

Firstly, we're planning a re-shoot for one of the key scenes in '7 CASES'. Why? Well, we've had some great feedback on the film and already had some distribution offers, but after letting it 'sit' for a while so that we could get to know it better, we have decided that one scene in particular needs to be better and there's no reason why we can't re-shoot. So, in September, we are shooting for another day or two to make it as good as it can be.

Secondly, we're deep in preparations for the next feature 'HINDSIGHT'. We have hired a Production Designer and we're using Leoni Kibbey again for the casting. We're also in talks with CG artists and DPs. I'm re-writing a big chunk of the script at the moment as we made a big creative decision about the main character that meant we had to go back and fix a quite a few scenes... it'll all be worth it in the end.

Lastly, i'm in preparations for another big US tour this summer. I'm doing FOH mixing for both Howard Jones and Tom Bailey of The Thompson Twins for the Retro Futura Tour all over the USA.... we'll be visiting New York, Chicago, LA, San Diego, San Francisco, Tempe, Boston, Philadelphia, Lincoln, Toronto (Canada, obviously), Cleveland and plenty more...  would be great to see you all there.

One more thing.... i just found out that i'm going back to Japan in November, so i thought i post this that i shot last time i was there. Hopefully, i'll take a GH4 and an A7S next time...

Big In Japan from Sean J Vincent on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Atomos Shogun and Ninja Star

Jeromy from Atomos has done a really good little video with the chaps over at Cinema5D to explain what the Shogun and Ninja Star are all about... I thought i'd post it here too:

NAB 2014 - Atomos Shogun gets the 4K out of Sony's A7s from cinema5D on Vimeo.

Can't wait to get my hands on the Star for aerial shoots and the Shogun for shooting my future projects with a combination of the GH4 and A7S....