Philip Bloom Filmmaker, DP, Director Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:30:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 “The Wonder List” All about the epic new documentary series I have been shooting for CNN Tue, 25 Nov 2014 08:59:27 +0000

For the past four months I have been travelling the world filming an ambitious documentary series for CNN. We still have two months and 3 episodes to go, but I can now fully reveal what it is all about with the official launch of “The Wonder List” today.

CNN have recently been putting out some very high quality hour-long documentary series like Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” shot by world-class DP Zach Zamboni.

This series, produced in-house in New York and presented by Bill Weir, like “Parts Unknown” is a very global show. I thought I had done a lot of travel before I started shooting this, but we have really been ping-ponging all over the globe!

This from the official CNN press release

“CNN announced today that Bill Weir will bring a new Original Series to the network beginning early next year. The Wonder List with Bill Weir will join the recently announced series THE SEVENTIES and High Profits, both debuting in 2015. With The Wonder List, Weir will tell the untold stories of extraordinary people, places, cultures and creatures that are at a crossroads.

Who will be the last person to see a Bengal tiger in the wild or be baptized in the River Jordan?  Who will be the last person to savor an unspoiled island paradise in the South Pacific or hike a glacier in Montana? At the current rate of planetary change, some odds suggest that the last people who will experience these wonders are alive today. And one of them might be your child.

“When Bill joined CNN, we knew his innovative vision would be an asset to the network as we expand the definition of news with series programming,” said Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide. “I am thrilled to announce that production of The Wonder List is underway and that Bill will bring his dynamic, personal and creative storytelling to the CNN audience.”

Through the lens of renowned cinematographer Philip Bloom, Weir will transport viewers to visually stunning locations from a sinking Venice, to a vanishing Dead Sea to the disappearing herds of Africa. Here, Weir will embrace amazing people, places and creatures that could be lost to future generations, including his own ten year old daughter, and discover what can be done to save them.

Said Weir, “The chance to find stories across six continents with one of the best photographers in the business is incredible in itself. But then to get eight prime-time hours to explore the forces of change that effect so many lives is the assignment of a lifetime. We’ve already captured some jaw-dropping corners of the planet and met some brave and brilliant folks fighting to save them for our great-grandkids. I can’t wait to share it all.”

The Wonder List with Bill Weir, a CNN Original Series produced by CNN, will air over eight, one-hour episodes beginning in early 2015, and joins CNN’s successful Original Series lineup that includes This is Life with Lisa LingSomebody’s Gotta Do It with Mike RoweThe Hunt with John WalshAnthony Bourdain Parts Unknown and Inside Man with Morgan Spurlock among others.”

Over the next few weeks I will be breaking down the shoots into posts covering various topics including: choosing the right camera, audio, lighting, production devices, travelling with gear and much much more. If you wondered why my posts on my site have been so sparse lately, it’s because this coming Wednesday will be my first full day off since October 1st!

All my time has been taken up with traveling to locations for this series, filming, travelling back, and also squeezing in jobs that were booked in before I was hired for this gig. For example, right now I am sitting at the airport in Sao Paulo in Brazil after doing a talk during the weekend. I came here the day after I got back to England from Vanuatu via Australia! Plus this month I have had the added factor of making sure my Movember campaign has been fully promoted. In fact as I write right now it’s been the best year ever so far, with the total raised just under $60K!!



SUPERMOON: Low light test for CNN’s “The Wonder List” from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Mount Yasur volcano eruption at 180fps on Sony FS7 for CNN’s “The Wonder List” from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

So before I write my first in-depth post below are some behind-the-scenes images and photos with a little bit of info below them explaining what they are. I have taken on this epic journey. For the past 3 episodes I have had on loan from B&H Photo the Pentax 645z, which makes the BTS photos even more epic! :)

It’s the greatest stills camera I have ever used, and it’s hard to use anything else after it! Huge thanks to B&H and a written review of it is coming very soon!

The first “The Wonder List” blog post is all about coming up with a style and deciding what camera/ tools should be used,so keep your eyes peeled…I actually have some time off starting this week which is a wondrous feeling! :)

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The MOVI M5, used with A7s, the Sony F55 and another A7s set up with with the XLR module at the Dead Sea


The Small HD DP7 Pro High Bright has been a godsend. Every country we have filmed in so far has been a hot one and this beast of a monitor copes brilliantly without a hood



“Band Photo” Number 4 in India at the TaJ Mahal. We did these everywhere…a bit of fun


Incredibly hot at the Dead Sea!


Bill Weir Elgin Fulton (with C100) and Julian Quinones using my Movi M5


Miller sticks featured heavily by us. I also used RSS ones on a couple of shoots




The images out of the Pentax 645z are just beautiful! Most of the photos here are from it.


Cassius Kim filming Bill with the C100 B camera


My lovely Sony F55


Guess which of these cameras gave us the best underwater results in the Galapagos??


Julian Quinones with my A7s


That’s a lot of GoPros!!!


The absolute brilliant A7s cage by Movcam


My F55 with the wonderful VOCAS rig in The Galapagos.


Another pic of the F55 with the wonderful VOCAS rig in The Galapagos.


The Freefly MOVI m5 and A7s has proven to be a key part of the show.



The Inspire One on her maiden voyage at the Volcano on Tanna Island in Vanuatu



Lunchtime with my Transformers a like pile of gear!


The only vehicle on Mota Lava Island in Vanuatu and it had to take all our stuff (mostly mine) the four of us and 3 locals!!


On top of the Volcana on Tanna Island in Vanuatu


Instead of the F55 I tried my brand new Sony FS7 in Vanuatu…how did it fare? I will cover all of this!


Band Photo 5 on Vanuatu

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CLOSED!! Big Movember Prize added! DJI Inspire One AND Ronin together! Plus my initial thoughts after a week of flying the Inspire One. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 01:38:09 +0000 Last chance for Movember prizes! from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

My Movember fundraiser is doing incredibly well thanks to you guys and the huge generosity of the companies who have donated prizes! As of the 19th of November 2014 just before midnight the total raised is this:
Screenshot 2014-11-19 23.00.45This is of course brilliant. We have already gone past last year’s total although still shy of the year before.

To understand more about what Movember is how important it is to help in the battle against prostate cancer and more then please visit my main Movember page by clicking this link

So apart from raising money a big part is actually raising awareness of the seriousness of prostate cancer and to remind them of the importance of getting checked. It’s can be beaten if caught early. I lost my grandfather to it and because he died of it my Uncle immediately got checked and found he had it and has now beaten it. He never thought about getting checked until his dad was taken from us by this cancer. So awareness is HUGE!

The fundraising is of course helped by offering a double incentive to people who donate. That’s why for the past few years I have also held a prize draw with loads of gear up for grabs. Think of it as a raffle where you buy a ticket and if your ticket is drawn you win! It’s open to anyone in the world so no restrictions there. You don’t need to join my team, you just need to donate to me at this link:


Once you have donated at least £15 / $25 then please forward your receipt to so I can put you in the draw, which takes place around mid December. The money goes straight to the charity and not through me. I just need the receipt, as it’s your ticket for the draw.

Hopefully that makes sense! :)

So far the prizes are astounding. Amongst the many prizes we have an A7S, Movi M5, F&V EVF, Small HD DP7 Pro, Atomos Shogun, Kessler Second Shooter, Miller LP-54, loads of software, bags, rigs and much much more.

If you have already entered you can enter as many times as you want, as long as you follow the instructions above it will count as a second independent entry!

Check out the full list here!


To keep up the momentum I am now adding the biggest prize of them all. Call it the grand prize if you will as it’s value is around $6,000! It’s pretty special!!

Announcing the DJI Ground and Air Movember grand prize! Comprising the just launched Inspire 1 quad and the Ronin handheld stabiliser!


I was hired by DJI to present their launch video for the Inspire 1 (it’s not a review as I am acting only a presenter) I have also been lucky enough to have been using a pre-production version on my recent documentary shoot in Vanuatu in the South Pacific where it has been simply amazing.

I am very new to whole aerial/ drone lark having only started flying early this year and then only a little bit. After making sure I spent proper time in a safe environment (the Nevada desert) in April honing my skills I made a short film in Thailand with my Phantom 2 and GoPro 3+. I was very happy with the end result and it was really well received.

I have found 3rd party first person view systems disappointing, whereas the built in FPS system on the Vision 2 + was wonderful but let down by an average camera. The other issue I have had with the Phantom is it’s a bit too sensitive to the wind, after all it is very light and the motors aren’t that powerful. So when I found out about this I was enormously interested .

Here are some images of it in use on various islands in Vanuatu. From the beautiful beaches of Reef Island to the Volcano on Tanna Island. Pure epicness!!

Photos taken on a loan Pentax 645 Z camera from B&H Photo Video. More info on the greatest stills camera I have ever used here. Written review coming soon!








Landing gear down, this can be done manually or just leave it and it will do it atomically when coming into land…as long as you bring it down at a normal landing speed!


Landing gear up



Temporarily travelling in one of my hard cases. George here helping get it to Rah Island across the water for me!






The prototype controller is black, the release one is white/ silver. and has a proper iPad holder unlike my crappy clamp system!


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It’s key features and advantages over the Phantom 2 after my week of use on location are as follows, this is all based on a pre-release BETA Inspire one, camera and software.

Much more rigid with carbon fibre arms, bigger props and a body that transforms raising the landing gear to give it a 360 view and make the chances of seeing the blades in shot when moving forward at speed very slim. It also makes it more stable in wind.

I took it up in a couple of places where there was no way i would fly the Phantom and it sat it the sky perfectly. On one occasion the Inspire was tilted to the side by about 45 degrees showing how strong the winds must have been up there so it was effectively hard flying into the wind hence that position but at the perfect speed to keep it static in the air. Quite remarkable!

The FPV system operates through light bridge which I have installed in one of my Phantoms. It’s a fantastic system but not cheap and requires some heavy mods to the Phantom. Here it’s all self contained within the quad and the remote. Both running off of rechargeable batteries. The quad via LiPos which run to around 18 minutes and the internal battery of the remote around 3 hours or so I think! More batteries definitely needed for sure, I don’t know how much they are though but I would like to have 6 in total really.

Screen grab from my iPad mini of the app showing the display from the quad. note the ground station map info isn't there in the bottom right as there was no internet there.

Screen grab from my iPad mini of the app showing the display from the quad. note the ground station map info isn’t there in the bottom right as there was no internet there.

The FPV system is lovely. So good to clearly see what you are doing. It was only an iPad app when I used it but am sure it will come to android and it would also be good with the iphone 6 plus. The problem is glare outside. It really needs a hood!

There are so many controls within the app that before you could only access from a computer connected to it. The best thing for me is full manual control with ISO, white balance and shutter speed. Iris is fixed and the lens is pretty distortion free with a 91 ish degree field of view. The shutter speed  control is with the app or via a very DSLR a-like wheel on the remote. The gimbal tilt it also a similar style wheel on the remote.

You can record from a dedicated record button on the remote and it can take raw stills, just switch between video and stills in the air…in fact you can also playback stuff whilst still in the air. Bit of a waste of the 18 minutes if you ask me!

The camera / gimbal is removable. This is so good so when DJI release a better camera you just switch that part. I know some will be annoyed that its their own camera and you can put a gopro on but then you wouldn’t have all the features like switching between stills/ video but more importantly that full control of manual exposure.

So how does it compare to the GoPro 4? I believe they are the same Sony sensor and to be honest they look quite similar although I have not done any side by sides. I would really like to see the 4K bitrate upped as I think it’s still too low like the GoPro 4 4K…it’s all usable and thats the mode I shot in and the stuff came out great.

One thing the GoPro 4 has over this is the excellent ProTune profile letting you shoot unsharpened flat images. This camera needs it and I understand their own “log style” system will be put into it via firmware. I had to shoot in a quite contrasty too sharpened mode due to the beta nature but I still got some excellent results as you can see from the frames below. I tended to underexpose and in post brought the luma levels right down, used film convert a bit and also soften the image with a fast blur at 2%. I am very happy with the results. Below are some graded frames from video shot in Vanuatu on the Inspire one!

DJI_0003.00_09_55_12.Still006 DJI_0003.00_08_19_11.Still007 DJI_0003.00_07_00_07.Still004 DJI_0003.00_24_16_06.Still001 DJI_0003.00_23_01_08.Still002 DJI_0003.00_21_21_21.Still003 DJI_0003.00_18_44_16.Still009 DJI_0003.00_17_40_15.Still008 DJI_0003.00_11_28_07.Still005

There isn’t much more to add right now. I am expecting new software for it soon so I will be excited to see the improvements. All I can say really is I can’t see me wanting to use my Phantom 2 anymore after using this. It’s night and day. A truly beautiful piece of gear that is a joy to use. A real flying camera.

Just remember this is NOT a toy and in many countries you will need to have a license to fly this for commercial work. Also practice, practice, practice…and do it somewhere with no people around!

This is a corking prize for my Movember fundraiser but to partner it with the Ronin? That’s pretty special. Huge thanks to DJI for this and make sure you enter! You have until 10pm GMT on the 9th of December. The winner for this will receive the prizes most likely sometime after Christmas as the draw itself won’t be until mid next month at the earliest, it all depends where in the world I am and if I have internet!! :)

Thanks, don’t forget to check out those over prizes here, get entering and keep those upper lips hair!

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CLOSED!!!! It’s time for Movember 2014! Amazing prizes up for grabs once more all for an amazing cause! Sat, 01 Nov 2014 21:20:46 +0000

Last chance for Movember prizes! from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.




That came around quickly! Well it’s Movember time again and for the 5th year running I am raising money in the annual awareness campaign fighting prostate cancer via the most manly of man things to do….GROW MOUSTACHES!!

Amazingly together through the prize draw and film competition on this site over the past four campaigns we have raised we over $200,000 which is INCREDIBLE!

It’s incredible to see this campaign beat big banks and other teams showing that the indie filming community is a fantastic and generous bunch!


You will most likely know someone who has either been taken by Prostate Cancer or thankfully beaten it. It affects so many men it’s terrifying. Thanks to Movember each year, a huge amount of money is raised to help fight this.

Movember has now expanded to be more of a “Men’s Health” campaign, also combatting Testicular Cancer and Mental Health issues!

This is such a worthy cause, and with your help each year, we can help fight these!

Below is a video from a couple of years ago that I made about my own family’s personal experience with prostate cancer.

There will be a prize draw again this year but no film competition. The main reason is simply I actually don’t have a day off this month. I am solid working in England, Denmark, Australia, Van-uato and Brazil. A big chunk of that is for the new CNN series I am shooting, which has taken up enormous amounts of my time. In fact, I was very worried I wouldn’t be able to do Movember this year via the large fundraiser because of this.

Thankfully, as she did last year, Joanna Ely has stepped up and will be running the campaign behind the scenes. THANKS SO MUCH JO!! She was brilliant last year and I know will be amazing this year too! Her email is

We will be contacting as many camera-centric manufacturers as possible – anyone who makes anything connected to cameras and filmmaking – in the hope of getting them to donate a prize for the draw. You can see the quality of prizes by checking out last year’s page! If you have something which you think will appeal to people and want to donate it as a prize, please contact Jo!!

We already have the prizes rolling below so check them. Also HUGE thanks to these companies and individuals. Couldn’t do it with you! There are LOADS more to come!

Jo will be writing to everyone to see if they can help, but again, if you make something that fits the bill and want to put a prize up  please contact Jo at her email address.



1: Simply go to this link which takes you directly to the donation page

2: This was ask you to put in your donation amount and personal details.

3: Make sure the amount is at least £15 (roughly $25) You can donate more of course, but £15 is the minimum to qualify entry into the prize draw.

4: You can enter as many times as you want and as long as each donation is at least £15 you will get another entry for the prize draw. Just make sure you forward me your receipt to Once you get the auto responder (which asks if you attached receipt) then your receipt has been received. You do not need to send it again.

5: It is open to anyone in the world not restricted to the UK. If it is asking you for a UK postcode you have clicked on the wrong link at the start. Click here to do straight to the donation page.

6: Entry closes on the 9th December at 10pm GMT. This is the official end of fundraising for Movember 2014.

7: One prize per ticket apart from the DJI prize which is a double prize of the Inspire 1 and Ronin. You can win more than one prize if you have donated at least the minimum amount more than once. In theory if you donated twice and had two entries and luck was on your side you could win the A7s AND the Shogun.

8: Any import/ duty taxes are the sole responsibility of prize winners. If you win something you don’t want please email asap to let us know and we will do a re-draw at a later date.

9: The prize draw will be on the 21st December at a time to be decided. Sorry it cannot be any earlier but I will be away on a shoot from the 10th until the 19th.

10. You are donating directly to a organisation representing the charities, nothing goes to me. This is not a lottery, this is not gambling. You are being thanked by me for helping raise money for Movember by your receipt being entered into a prize draw for all the gear the many companies have donated.

Papie: A personal story that affects us all from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.



To keep up the momentum I am now adding the biggest prize of them all. Call it the grand prize if you will as it’s value is around $6,000! It’s pretty special!!

Announcing the DJI Ground and Air Movember grand prize! Comprising the just launched Inspire 1 quad and the Ronin handheld stabiliser!



The Film Riot gang from Triune films are donating 4 of their digital download packs. Cheers guys!! :-)

Triune Sound: Fighting SFX Bundle comes with all of our fighting sound effects! Over 600 sounds are included!

This pack comes with 12 royalty free cinematic scores, with all the broken out instrument layers that make each track.

100% Royalty free
All layers broken out for true customization
Added stingers and swells

The Lord of War SFX Bundle comes with all of their gun sound effects! All 440 sounds are included! A total of 440 high quality, ready to use sound effects! Including a ridiculous amount of great foley sounds to enhance your production!

The Hollywood Guns SFX Bundle comes with a selection of sounds from all of their guns, processed in four massive styles! 280 EPIC sounds included!



This is an incredible prize from Miller Tripods, made to celebrate their 60th anniversary this LP ’54 wooden fluid head tripod is magnificent. I have seen it at NAB and IBC and lust after it. It’s a work of art and a classic.

Thanks so much to the team over in Sydney and to Mike in the UK for sorting this. If I could win something in this draw I would want this. Alas if I pull my name out of the hat I think people may think it’s a fix! ;)

Read more about Miller, the tripod and their history by clicking the image!


Screenshot 2014-11-06 14.24.14



F&V have stepped up yet again and donated their Brand NEW! SpectraHD 4 and Loupe kit worth $1,299.00!!! if that wasn’t enough they are also throwing in R-300 LED Ring Light with RS-1 Softbox and bracket bundle. Thank you guys!!

SpectraHD 4 and Loupe Kit


New to Movember and I am so grateful for them coming on board as I adore their gear….The Movi M5 is absolutely my favourite 3 axis stabiliser, it’s been used countless times now on my shoots, it’s brilliant! You have the chance to win one that to Tabb and the team over at Freefly!! Yep…a Movi M5 worth $4000!!!

15465846419_f6e4367743_z Freefly-moviM5



The lovely people at Zacuto have donated one each of the terrific Enforcer and Marauder camera rigs!

marauder enforceer


My dear friends over in Indiana have donated a “Second Shooter” base system. This is a terrific add on for sliders and can be added to with the head for even more creative options!


JAG 35 



To the the lovely team at Jag, thanks again for being a fantastic supporter of Movember! They are wonderfully donating a Side-kick Pro!!Screenshot 2014-11-01 19.25.49




Thanks again to Eddie at Vid-Atlantic for again contributing to this important cause!! We al thank you! Vid-Atlantic have donated some amazing filters!!




Sony USA have incredibly and very generously donated another tool that I am using all the time at the moment. The stunningly good Sony A7s!! I think this is a brilliant camera. I own two of them, and the stuff I am getting from them whilst using them as B-Cameras for the CNN show is stunning!!



My dear friend Jes over at B&H who is beyond brilliant as helped organise a number of prizes. Her store are also donating a $250 gift card!




Thanks to Jeromy and the team at Atomos for once again helping the cause by donating the imminently released Shogun 4K external recorder with stunning screen. This is a fantastic prize! I hope to get my hands on one very soon to use, but from the almost finished one I saw at IBC this is simply brilliant!




These guys make my monitors of choice, and along with their high bright, the DP-7 OLED travels with me on my shoots. It’s a stunner with built in grading, LUT support and so more. Thanks enormously to the guys again for taking part in Movember and  for donating a DP-7 Pro OLED worth $2300!!

Screenshot 2014-11-01 09.53.24

Using my High-Bright on location at the Taj Mahal

Using the high-bright on location in Jerusalem

Using my high-bright on location in the Galapagos

Using my high-bright on location in the Galapagos


Without fail, Red Giant have supported every charity fundraiser I have done over the years and once again they have come through one license for each of the terrific Shooter Suite & Colour Suite!!


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My goto place for music have once again signed up to support this amazing cause! Thanks so much guys for the $1000 of licensing you are generously donating!



Peak Design have already amazingly donated $1500 to the campaign after one of their Kickstarter backing days was dedicated to the campaign and anything raised on that day (which was $150000) ten percent would go to Movember. So thanks so much!

On top of this, they have donated 3 Slider Camera Straps and 3 Clutch straps! Thanks chaps!!



Justin and the team have again generously signed up to support Movember 2014 and have donated 1 Cineskates and 1 Skateplate! Thanks guys!!!

cinetics-movemberScreenshot 2014-11-01 20.24.52 Screenshot 2014-11-01 20.25.09



Zach Lipovsky has once again stepped forward and is donating 5 copies of his amazing App -Shotlister.





The Team at CVP have Generously donated THREE  Canon Powershot SX50 HS’s

Thanks Guys!!




Jared and the team have stepped up again this year and are donating 3 Go Pro Hero cages!! Thank You :-)



For the fifth year running! Rode Microphones have joined us and are donating some amazing products, some lucky winners may hope to get their hands on some of the following:

2 Stereo VideoMic X’s and 5 smartLav +’s




F Stop are generously giving away A Smoky Mountain Camera bag. This bag is very versatile and includes a lightweight tripod mount on the back. Thanks guys for donating for the 3rd year running!

Millar_SmokyMtn_Aloe (1)


Millar_SmokyMtn_Navy_hatch (1)


VA Movember Logo


The VA Digital Hire team from down under have joined the cause this year and are donating a $500 Rental voucher ( rental limited to Sydney and Melbourne). Thank Guys!!


Black Magic have stepped in yet again and are giving away a Full version of their Brilliant DaVinci Resolve 10.


X-rite have joined the Team this year and are giving us their Top of the Line monitor calibration product the  i1Display Pro! This helps to make sure that the colors on your display match those in your original picture or file. Thank you X-rite and welcome to the team.




The Team at Camalapse have kindly donated SIX !! of their new camalapse 4’s. The Camalapse can help create 360° panning time-lapse videos or steady panoramic images with most digital cameras, action sport cameras and smart phones. Great Product!




Switronix are back again this year and donating a DV-GP3- USB (GoPro Battery Eliminator) great bit of Kit! Thanks guys!



MZ Steadycam have kindly donated their BRAND NEW!! MZ Slider! They’ll be launching it soon so 1 lucky winner could be amongst the first to own this great product.




Benro are donating their NEW Aero 4. Great Tripod! Great Prize!! Cheers Guys :-)





Shape have been very generous and kindly donated their GOPRO HERO HANDHELD GIMBAL ISEEI WITH CASE, (GoPro not included) This is a very sophisticated bit of tech that works to give great results!


Re-nowned and fellow DOP Shane Hurlbut ( Need for Speed, Terminator Salvation) has joined the cause and is donating a year’s subscription to his Inner Circle blog, Here you get to follow him behind the scenes of his latest projects and share his insider tips. Thank’s Shane!




The Amazing Film Convert are giving away 5 of their bundles.

 E.C. Pro Video



E.C. Pro Video have joined us this year and have offered the winner 1 of any MetaBones adapters. Thank you guys and welcome to the team!




Compagnon have kindly donated ‘The Weekender’ Camera bag. Winner can choose from the light brown or black edition. Looks great!

compagon-camerabag-weekender (1)





Thank you Thinktank for donating this great camera bag- The Citywalker 30 (blue) :-)



Kippertie are giving away an amazing 1 day rental of their Red Dragon Monochrome, (UK only) this is a unique and incredible black and white camera and kippertie own the only two in the UK!!


A graphic stock

Graphicstock are giving away two annual subscriptions worth almost $588 each. So that’s a year of unlimited downloads of any stock images!


Videoblocks are donating 2 annual subscriptions to their site. That’s a whole year of being able to download as much  royalty free footage, templates, music and sound effects as you want for your projects unlimited. A fantastic prize.




Iographer are donating one of their units. It allows you to attach all sorts of accessories turning your Ipad into a movie making machine.


Wipster have kindly donated a years subscription worth $500. Upload and share your video work in progress with like minded professionals on a private social network and receive valuable feedback to help you make the best of your project.

Wipster is a new cloud-based, collaborative video review and approval platform created by filmmaker Rollo Wenlock and a team of creative media tech experts. Wipster is a beautifully designed, intuitive digital media review and approval platform designed for content creators, filmmakers, in-house corporate media teams, or anyone creating short-form video projects. Wipster helps bring together creative media teams, their colleagues and clients from wherever they may be to collaborate on digital media projects; simply, elegantly and quickly.


Adobe have donated 2x 1 year subscriptions to their Creative Cloud. That’s all their professional tools for a whole year including the likes of Premiere, Speedgrade and Aftereffects as well as apps and 20gb of online storage. This is everything you need from making films to publishing digitally.  There’s far to much for us to list here so for more information go here. Thanks Guys!!





D|Focus Sytems have donated their fantastic Starter Bundle which includes:

-D|Focus V4 Follow Focus
-D|Rails Baseplate (The winner gets to chose a baseplate for either DSLRs, the BlackMagic Cinema Camera and soon the Canon C series.)
-8 inch 15 mm rods
-D|Gear Lens Gear


Rhino Camera Gear have kindly donated their Essentials Slider Bundle (valued at $525).


The 2ft Rhino Slider Carbon Core is one of the most versatile sliders. It’s extremely light, can carry up to 15lbs of gear, comes with all-terrain legs, a center-mounting plate, and is small enough to fit in your luggage. The included 2ft Slider Carrying Case lets you store the slider for protection and carry it comfortably all day. To add even more usability, the bundle includes the Rhino Slider Pulley, a simple way to get vertical and angled slides.



SLR Magic are back this year with 3 fantastic Donations:

SLR Magic 77mm 0.4-1.8 Variable ND Filter.

SLR Magic 10mm T2.1 Hyperprime Cine Lens for MFT.

SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33X – 50 Anamorphic Lens Attachment

Smartwatch Pro


Smartwatch Pro are giving away a Pebble Steel in a style of your choice (either Brushed Stainless or Black Matte) along with a copy of their app. Smartwatch Pro is an iOS companion app for the Pebble smartwatch. It features upcoming calendar events, your Twitter timeline and more right on your wrist. If you can’t wait for the prize draw you can now get $20 off Pebble in the app.





Movcam are donating 2 of their new Single-Axis Lens Controller—SCU-1.


Both packs include: one motor MU-1, one receiver box MRS-1, cable, battery and charger. This is a stunning prize worth $2000 each. Not only that they also donated £500. Thank you to all the guys and gals at Movcam.

Ellis Photographic Design


Ellis Camera are donating one of their Sony A7s Kickstand Plates.




Philip Bloom

November 1st 2014

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“City on the rise”: New mini doco shot as part of the series “We The Economy” now live! Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:14:21 +0000 600x315_second_shooter

I met director Albert Hughes (Dead Presidents, From Hell, Book of Eli) a few years ago between shooting Red Tails. We met in Prague and talked about working together one day. I shot my short beauty piece “Prague” whilst there.

In the spring of this year I got a call for him about shooting a short doc for him which would be part of a series of  films, produced by Paul Allen and Morgan Spurlock.


Screenshot 2014-09-30 19.52.05The series “We The Economy” consists of 20 shorts with the focus on the US economy, made by well-known filmmakers and told using all sorts of styles and genres. From narrative fiction to animation, to more traditional documentary (like our film).

The film I made with director Albert Hughes, who is originally from Detroit, was about globalisation and focused on what has happened to Detroit and what the future holds for it. It was to be shot of a few days in the city consisting of 2 days of interviews followed by 3 or 4 days of b-roll.

I will write more very soon when I get some time as I am currently filming a documentary in India, in the meantime here are the tech details:

Interview cameras were C100 with Atomos Ninja Blade and 1DC with Atomos Ninja Star. B-Roll cameras were A7s, GH4 and GoPro 3+.

Interviews were lit with the Cineo TruColour LS. PB Pocket Dolly from Kessler Crane with Parallax also used in interviews for B camera.

Below are some BTS photos with the gear and more interestingly some frames from the film!




If you are wondering why LT it was because production requested it. It’s a damn good codec and great for the straight filming we were doing.


I used the DP7 Pro High Bright from Small HD with LUTS so Albert could see the black and white grade live whilst shooting but still recording in C-Log colour.

Director Albert Hughes LOVES his limes!

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The trailer has just been released, which you can watch here. Our film is the last one featured. Some of the stuff from the other filmmakers looks fantastic. Personally I can’t wait to see them. I wonder if ours will be the only one that isn’t funny!! :)

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The GoPro 4 real world evolving review…. Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:02:44 +0000 600x315_second_shooter


Please keep checking back, as this post is a work in progress. I will be adding my initial thoughts and then continuing. It will be oldest at the top, newest below. Like a diary. There won’t be a formal video review, as there is simply no time to do one. This series I am shooting is giving me around 6-7 days off in total for the rest of the year! So it’s squeeze in a few words when I can.

I will share as much native stuff as possible but also share some stuff that I have cut and graded. Again, keep checking back, as I will constantly be adding stuff.

To start us off, here are two clips. Both showcasing one of the key features: 4K in usable frame rates of 24, 25p and 30p!

The car one can be downloaded as a native clip for any Vimeo pro or plus users.


Initials shots with GoPro 4 in 4K with DJI Phantom 2 with Lightbridge from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.




I have been using GoPros since the first Hero HD. They have now of course taken over the action camera world, and deservedly so. Naturally they have gotten better with every generation. The last one, the 3+ is terrific.

The thing is GoPros have never been a primary form of camera due to my type of work. After all, I am not a base jumper, skier, surfer etc etc…this is what they have primarily become used for. My use of GoPros had been for attaching to things. People….cars…etc…

A lot changed for me though, when I used my 3+ in conjunction with something else, A DJI Phantom 2, and the result was magical for me, like a whole new dawn of freedom when it came to filmaking. The was also the first complete GoPro piece I have made! I had done some tests prior to this and some fun little time lapses but never anything considered like this.

The GoPro will never become my main camera – it will always be for specialist stuff like flying or underwater, but as a tool I have always loved it, and I am always desperate for a new one as I know the improvements will be much needed! The GoPro is an essential part of my kit, and if it’s gotten a lot better then I will be very happy! :)

Koh Yao Noi from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.


Same connections on side

Same connections on side



The things that bugged me about the 3+ that I hoped would be rectified.

Low light performance

Battery performance

Lack of manual control

Usable 4K frame rates

120 fps onto 720p

The lack of a back button for menus, as they are fiddly.

and probably lots more…

I received the GoPro 4 at the end of last week just after getting home from filming at the Dead Sea for a week. I have been eagerly awaiting this for ages. Just how many of the above things would be improved? What else might we get?


IMG_3841 IMG_3842

The aim of this evolving review/ post is to go through the differences to see just what has been improved and what hasn’t. I will also take a look at the new features and try them out. It will take me time, as I will be finding this out whilst actually using the camera on this documentary series I am shooting for CNN. So if this post/ review feels unfinished, that’s because it is and will be added to continually.



My observations when setting it up where as follows:

Thankfully the camera shape has not changed. There is a new battery compartment with a new shaped battery with larger capacity, at the bottom of the GoPro instead of the back. The GoPro connector is still the same on the back, so the battery Bac Pac and LCD one still work. This should mean it will work with the older Phantom ZenMuse gimbals. The newer ones have changed and don’t use that anymore, which is a shame.

Interestingly/ annoyingly the Black and Silver models confuse things a lot. The Black was always the top of the range, and it is positioned as such, but the silver has all the Black has, minus the 24,25p and 30p 4K AND it has a built in screen at the back! I would love a screen to be built in without needing the LCD Backpac. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a Black + version with a screen at some point.

GoPro 4 Silver has a screen! GoPro 4 Black does't HUH?

GoPro 4 Silver has a screen! GoPro 4 Black does’t HUH?

The side button is now no longer just wifi but also used to change video/ photo settings. The Tally light and charger are now to the left of the main LCD instead of the two small circles by the power button.

We still have no 2nd menu operation button, which is something I really wanted! Compared to the original GoPro menus which were essentially in code, these are great, but I prefer an up and down rather than just a cycle through button…maybe Hero 5?

DSC05407 DSC05409




car gp (1 of 1)


The first thing I did after rapidly unboxing it was simply attach it to my Fiat Barchetta and drive through London with it in 4K mode.  The GoPro App wasn’t working with the 4 at the time, so I couldn’t see exactly what I was doing or remotely stop start it. The app of course will be full compatible when the 4 is released. Still, I got the framing pretty good considering, as you can see below. This is ungraded and untouched, shot in 4K 25p in ProTune flat medium sharpness (next time low is recommended) and ISO max set to 400. This works well when you get to the end of this clip as I go into a car park.

I am not sure what other manual control there is apart from setting the max ISO. Setting it as low as 400 is great and wasn’t available with the 3+, but I would have loved shutter speed control (aperture is of course fixed) and electronic ND. One of the biggest giveaways of GoPro footage is that high shutter speed. Yes you can use clip on ND etc, but I was hoping for something internal to help teo. If it really is just limiting ISO then that’s a shame. I will need to look into this more.


Native 4K GoPro 4 clip car mounted from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.


Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 23.16.03

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 23.16.22


Naturally, this was what I was most excited about. Using my Phantom 2 with it. It’s the same size and seems very much the same weight, plus it has the same rear connector for most of the ZenMuse Phantom gimbals out there. Although my H3-3D is the newer one, that has removed the rear connector and replaced it with the side connectors and a thin piece of ribbon. It’s a shame, as it’s nowhere near as robust, but the reason is to make it compatible with DJI’s excellent “Lightbridge” HD video relay system, which is what I used it with.

So the new GoPro 4 appears to be fully compatible with the H3-3D, and of course I would assume the H3-2D…when I say appears to be, as mentioned above I have only used the newer version of the H3-3D. I have not tested it with the older one.

DSC05301 DSC05302

Lightbridge gives you a massive range for first person view with crystal clear 1080 image, all the telemetry you would get from the iOS, plus you can also plug it into your smartphone and use that as a monitor (or just use an HDMI monitor).

The image with lightbridge from the Phantom is perfect. It’s pricey though, so not for everyone. Its quality is equivalent to the Vision series setup, just with a much bigger range.

Unfortunately the software needs to be upgraded for the GoPro 4, as the image froze as soon as I hit record which was a pain. Flying blind isn’t much fun! I am sure it will be fixed soon though.

The shots aren’t exciting, just a few to test out and share. This is not a “piece of art” – this is a camera test, and given I couldn’t see what I was filming due to the above issue, it didn’t turn out too bad! I just was always behind the Phantom using line of sight for my composition.



What a wonderful birthday morning Dad is thinking!


“Which ones goes in the air? The thing in my left hand or right hand?”


Galaxy Note 3 used as my 1st person view monitor with lightbridge

DSC05324 DSC05325 DSC05326 DSC05327




Dad posing and pretending to fly… :)

Initials shots with GoPro 4 in 4K with DJI Phantom 2 with Lightbridge from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.

The sensor inside the GoPro is TEENY, and to squeeze 4K onto it is a fair bit…what’s the key though is the bitrate. With GoPro, we don’t have shallow depth of field. It’s all deep depth of field. Deep depth of field generally means more detail, and more detail means harder on compressed footage. I have been getting around 60mbit/s which is not that much really. For HD fine, but for 4K? The shots I did in the park  are clearly a struggle with all that information. I need to do an HD/ 4K comparison of the same shot to see which fares best. I feel the HD one will, as the ProTune bit rate for HD is around what I am getting for the 4K, yet for an image 4 times the size? The version you can download from Vimeo is not an original clip from the Phantom. I will add that as soon as I can.

My feeling from this is that I will use 2.7K  50p mode mostly (48p if shooting 24p), as the detail is excellent and the codec can handle it. I am not giving up on the 4K yet, but it does seem to be a bit much for it, certainly in the conditions I tried it with. Having 50/48p in 2.7k is a big plus from the 3+, as this resolution was always my favourite for details and lack of image issues, but it couldn’t do more than 30p before.

Below is a short test clip showing this mode (although Vimeo is giving me grief with the quality of the conversion, as it looks a bit shit here! I am working on it!) :)

I will add to this flying section when I have done more tests.

There was talk of a 240fps mode in 720p. I can’t see it. There is 120fps in HD now though, although the aliasing is pretty bad from my short test…I will look into this more and report back.

Check the diagonals for the aliasing. 1080p 120fps

Check the diagonals for the aliasing. 1080p 120fps



That’s it for now, work has gotten in the way,  but I will keep adding constantly including more clips

IMG_3847 IMG_3848 IMG_3849 IMG_3850

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What do you want from a UK 2 day filmmaking event? Plus details of imminent 2 day shooting workshops in New York and Cumbria! Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:17:08 +0000 600x315_second_shooter

I do very few workshops these days. My filming commitments meant I have had to scale them right back (I am writing this now from many many miles away from home, about to film the second episode of a new doc series I am making for CNN) but there are still two more this year, plus I need your help to make a 2 day multi-speaker filmmaking event happen in Brighton!

If you follow mine and/ or James Miller’s work you know we film a lot in Brighton. It’s a lovely seaside town and a great place to hold the event. Below are just two of the things we have made in Brighton!

Now I See from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Overview of the Miller Air tripod from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.

Survey about UK 2 day filmmaking event.



So the two-day workshops info in chronological order…New York 5th and 6th October

I have been asked by B&H Photo in New York  (the Willy Wonka of camera stores) in conjunction with Sony America to teach a 2 day shooting workshop specifically on the A7s.

This is a unique event. First off, most of the first day is out and about in the city, filming with the A7s using gear supplied to you (you can bring your own lenses tripod if you wish). What also makes it unique is it’s FREE! It’s only 25 people, so you need to apply. I want the people who will benefit the most to be able to do this!

Application has been open for about 2 weeks already and will close very soon. I just wanted to post it here, as until now had only been on twitter and Facebook.

Click below to apply and for more info.

Screenshot 2014-09-17 21.52.29


CUMBRIA 2-day Shooting workshop.

Later in October I will be doing my only 2-day workshop in England this year in Cumbria! This isn’t sponsored by B&H and Sony, so it’s a traditional pay for workshop, but as it’s the only one I am doing in my home country in 2014 and also my last of the year anywhere, coupled with the amazing location, it’s one not to miss!

All the info below!!

LLoyd & Colman Studio from LLoyd & Colman on Vimeo.

Screenshot 2014-09-17 22.03.31

Screenshot 2014-09-17 22.03.38

Screenshot 2014-09-17 22.03.49

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IBC 2014: Plus info on my free talks, Critics and more! Sony FS7 officially confirmed! Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:12:39 +0000


IBC 2014: CRITICS Day 1 from Teradek on Vimeo.

IBC 2014: CRITICS Day 2 from Teradek on Vimeo.

IBC 2014: CRITICS Day 3 from Teradek on Vimeo.

It’s that time of year again. Well actually these shows happen around the world almost non stop, but IBC is massive, probably second only to NAB in size. Broadcast shows like this are a great chance to check out new gear, but for me, I like them as I can connect with people new and old.

New kit is also often announced, and in fact Sony are announcing a new camera there (yes another one) this week. More on that later.

If you have never been before, it’s in Amsterdam and it’s every September. I missed last year’s one but am coming this year. Photokina, the (mainly) photography show is directly afterward in Cologne. That show is truly massive, but I won’t be going to it this time, that would most likely do my head in. These shows are exhausting, especially if you are working there which I am!


At the show I will doing a number of talks. I will be at the Adobe stand talking about how I use their software and how it fits into my workflow on a shoot. This is at 11:30 and 2:30pm on the Friday and 11:30 on the Saturday.

adobe-creative-cloud Screenshot 2014-09-08 12.50.26


On Saturday at 1:30pm in Hall 11 stand 11 D30, I will be on the Miller stand giving an updated version of shooting and using 4K in the real world! I will be showing examples of course, and I will go into details of the pros and cons!

Also do check out the Miller charity raffle in aid of the iABM education foundation. Enter and get a chance to win the gorgeous LP’54 classic wooden tripod from Miller made to celebrate their 50 years on the business.


Miller_IBC_2014_SeminarsScreenshot 2014-09-08 12.52.09 Screenshot 2014-09-08 15.12.36


On the Sunday I will be doing an hour long talk and Q&A for the Rising Stars programme, a fantastic initiative to help the new generation get started in the industry. The conference is part of IBC and features some amazing speakers like Professor Brian Cox. I am giving one of the keynotes on the Sunday at 2pm about what you may or may not need to make great content. I will be sharing my experience and success and failures, so you can hopefully benefit from me doing this all for you first! :)

To register for the Rising Stars programme click the link here or the image below! If you can’t work it out you are clearly not at all an office type and therefore must clearly be creative, the downside is you won’t benefit from the conference because of this! ;)   Screenshot 2014-09-08 12.46.56Screenshot 2014-09-08 12.49.25


Last but not least, on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 4pm live each day is the 2nd return of Critics. After our mega sell out stadium live shows at NAB in April, we are back for hour long shows where Steve Weiss pulls his punches and gives rubbish critiques and I give him grief for it. You can see it live here and later on Vimeo with the link on the bottom of the flyer!



The FS7 is official. Check out the first hands on with my buddy Nino Leitner. More on his Cinema5D site!

EXCLUSIVE: cinema5D Sony FS7 hands-on from Nino Leitner on Vimeo.

From the Sony press release:


Amsterdam, September 12, 2014: Sony has today launched the PXW-FS7, the first 4K XDCAM camera to feature a Super35 CMOS sensor. Capable of shooting in 4K Quad Full HDi (QFHD) and super slow-motion Full HD, the latest member of the XDCAM family has been designed for documentary, music video, online content creators and corporate filmmakers looking for beautiful picture quality and an unrivalled choice of recording formats.

The 11.6 million-pixel Super35 ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor within the PXW-FS7 delivers stunning sensitivity, shallow depth of field, a high signal-to-noise ratio and fantastic low light performance. The camera has the ability to record QFHDi with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling up to 600 Mbit/s, with support for a variety of recording formats including XAVC Intra, Long GOP, MPEG HD422 and Apple ProRes 422 available early 2015 by firmware update.

Ergonomic design ideal for one-man operation in demanding conditions

The new camera has been purpose-built to provide a versatile range of creative shot options while sitting comfortably on the shoulder, even after hours of operation. The supplied grip, easily adjustable viewfinder and fully-sealed, die-cast magnesium chassis have been designed to provide robust usability in dusty or humid environments and for ‘run and gun’ applications.

“Filmmakers around the world have told us they want a package which links high quality codecs, unlimited slow and quick-motion recording and the flexibility to switch between various lenses, but without the need for a rig,” explained Bill Drummond, Strategic Marketing Manager, Sony Professional Europe. “We’ve built the PXW-FS7 to give customers a vast range of production, style and format choices in a form factor which allows the operator to do it all, right from their shoulder.”

αMount System offering a variety of expression

The PXW-FS7 features Sony’s revolutionary α Mount System, which benefits from Silent Focus Technology and Electrical Iris Control. Sony has also launched the PXW-FS7K, including the brand new powered zoom E-Mount lens FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS (SELP28135G), ideal for the requirements of today’s video production teams. Customers also have the flexibility to use other lenses with a 3rd party adaptor.

Key features of the PXW-FS7

Super35 ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor with 8.8 million-effective pixels. The PXW-FS7 is able to capture great image quality without needing significant lighting support. It has high-speed image readout characteristics, such as 240 fps while recording 2K RAW on an external recorder, responsive sensitivity (ISO 2000) and a high signal-to-noise ratio. The PXW-FS7 supports QFHD up to 60 fps at launch, with an upgrade to 4K 4,096 x 2,160 resolution due to be made available in early 2015.

Flexibility across recording codecs. The PXW-FS7 is compatible with Sony´s new XAVC Intra and XAVC Long GOP formats, each supporting 10-bit 4.2:2 recording for Full HD recording. Recording in QFHD resolution, SlowMotion up to 180fps or even Full High Definition with 60/50 progressive frames is possible. By using the optional extension unit XDCA-FS7, the PXW-FS7 is capable of natively recording in Apple ProRes 422 codec, planned to be available in early 2015 by firmware update. In addition, thanks to the XDCA-FS7’s Raw interface, the PXW-FS7 is capable of 4K/2K Raw recording with Sony’s HXR-IFR5 and AXS-R5, or with a compatible third-party external recorder.

A vast range of creative choices. The PXW-FS7 features 2 XQD card slots that support simultaneous recording and relay recording. The camera includes a low-pass video filter, progressive pixel reading and advanced camera processing, enabling a broad span of creative treatments, and benefits such as high speed recording, high resolution, high sensitivity, less aliasing and less rolling shutter. To support FS7’s S&Q motion and internal 4Ki recording, a new XQD G series with ultra-high speed transfer up to 400MB/s (read) and 350MB/s (write) has been developed. The XQD card G series is designed specifically to further enhance the PXW-FS7 workflow. In parallel, the camera’s built-in ND filters offer exceptional shallow depth-of-field, allowing users to further expand their shooting styles without requiring external ND filter equipment. S-Gamut3/SLog3 & S-Gamut3.Cine/SLog3 are supported for flexibility of post-production options.

Easy mobility and choice of shooting style. Sony has also today introduced the VCT-FS7, a light-weight rods support, featuring 15mm rods and an adjustable shoulder pad. This enables the use of additional Matte boxes, the easy attachment of Follow Focus systems or of an external recorder. In addition to the on-shoulder operation, the PXW-FS7 can also be set-up on a tripod and as a handheld camera. The supplied handgrip provides easy access to relevant functions.

 αMount System enables auto exposure and SteadyShot stabilization during shooting. The PXW-FS7 uses the E-mount lens system and comes supplied with a new E-mount lens FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS (SELP28135G), which is the world’s first 35mm full-frame interchangeable power zoom lens i.. The new E-mount powered zoom lens features constant F4 value, independent rings for Iris, Zoom and Focus control and is dust and moisture resistant. The SELP28135G has steady shot stabilization, minimum focus breathing and is enabled with Sony’s new SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) to reduce zoom and focus noise while shooting. Furthermore, Sony’s optional LA-EA4 A-mount lens adaptor allows compatibility with a wide range of high-quality A-mount lenses, benefiting from the PXW-FS7’s auto-focus function for quick and convenient operation.



I don’t do rumours as a rule but I am breaking it because:I mentioned this briefly but it’s confirmed that Sony is releasing a new 4K professional camera at IBC, confusingly called the FS7 which makes it sound higher end than the F5 (I address this further down). It was leaked onto a Chinese site with the picture below.

A: It’s officially teased now by Sony and

B: Because of the implications

C: The leaked photo is genuine.

D: Numerous sources have confirmed this with me.

Now, I had been hearing mutterings about this camera for a while. I am not under NDA so I am not in the “official” know but I do know many people who are under penalty of death if they talked about this due to their NDAs. They wouldn’t tell me squat, naturally! :) Despite this, through a number of other sources I am pretty confident most of these rumoured features are true. So much so that I put a fiver on at paddy power and if all these come true I could make a hundred quid! :)

Super 35mm sensor, whether it’s new or not I don’t know.

E mount so you can put a METABONES EF adaptor or even better a Speedbooster for effectively full frame image. 

XDCAM labelled but records in the same high quality pro format as the F5 and F55, XAVC.

Records INTERNALLY at 4K. Whether this is full DCI or UHD not sure. I have a felling it’s the latter.

12 bit raw output via 3g SDI. Assuming this will work with R5 and hopefully the Odyssey 7Q soon

HD of course and I believe it will also do at least 150fps in HD most likely 180fps is 24p mode.

There is a large rear dock that could be multifunctional. It may even take an R5.

I am expecting optional battery solutions, v-locks for example or the Sony L series batteries. If it can take L series it means we could have some very impressive power consumption.  

Integrated LCD/ EVF loup reminiscent of the EX3

Nice shoulder mounted design




From the image you can see it used the cheaper than XQD cards for the XAVC rather than what I use in my F55 which is the stupidly expensive SXSPro.

Since buying £10,000 of them they brought out a firmware update that lets me use XQD cards on my camera with a cheap adaptor. Annoying for me, good for new customers!

We also have full auto modes…if you like that sort of thing.

The quality of the LCD/ EVF is unknown, but it’s part of the camera. It seems only expensive cameras suffer from having sod all including with them! It’s funny but that shape keeps making me think an URSA style 10″ screen was on there once! Thankfully it isn’t! Let’s hope the LCD/ Loup is not of the same quality of the Fs100/FS700!!

Price point: I have had from numerous reliable sources to be a list price of just $8k. I say “just” because for what you are getting this is amazing.

Is this a replacement for the FS700? No. Sony tweeted this:


So the FS700 stays but what differentiates it from this new XDCAM camera? The FS700 sells for $7700 at B&H. The camera records AVCHD HD internally. It can do 240fps in burst mode internally, but it can also send a raw signal to an external recorder to record 4K and 2K raw plus continuous slow motion in full quality up to 240fps.


The leaked image

The leaked image

Just the other day a “hack” for the F5 to let it record 4K internally was made public by my friend and former colleague at Sky News Paul Ream. By saving settings and modifying them via text edit, you can make the F5 record in modes only the F55 is supposed to have even up to 60p. You can see a tutorial here.

Sony F5 on left and F55 on right. You can tell only from the colour of the lens mount. Silver is F55.

Sony F5 on left and F55 on right. You can tell only from the colour of the lens mount. Silver is F55.

As an F55 owner who bought this very expensive camera over the F5 basically for the internal 4K recording, I am very interested to see what Sony does to respond to this announcement (yes it stills sounds weird!). Apparently there will be an announcement about the F5 and F55 on the 12th too. Sure my F55 has a global shutter and a different colour gamut but it’s the 4K internal recording that sold me on it. If the F5 had 4k officially and I was buying a camera today, I would buy the F5 not the F55.

Actually that isn’t true. If it was today I would wait until the announcement of the FS7 and depending on the image that I see this week, I would buy this. Why? It’s WAY cheaper, has the same codec, internal 4k and HD, 180fps (maybe), E mount which is preferable to FZ mount as the Canon adaptor is very expensive and not as good as the Metabones, plus the option of a Speedbooster is a big plus. I would love an effective full frame in a proper video camera. Do I care that it may only be UHD 4K? Not really, not at this price difference. The power consumption and use of L series batteries is a big plus. It’s also way cheaper. Did I say that?


By saying this, I am basically saying I personally think Sony will severely damage their F5 sales with this camera, and of less importance to them I am sure, the FS700 which in modern camera terms is getting on a bit now. It’s over 2 years old! :)

So why are Sony bringing out this camera, which is going to essentially make the F5 rather pointless? Why are Sony being so aggressive with their competition with themselves? Yep that sounds bonkers, but they are! Well there is nothing else out there at this price point, and it’s better to sell more cameras for less money than fewer cameras for more money isn’t it? Well only if the cheaper camera sells significantly more units than the more expensive ones.

Sony will absolutely have to put 4K in the F5 now officially, not because of the “hack” so much but because of this camera, but it’s still going to need something else.  That means what do F55 owners like myself get? Who knows. I hope not a massively devalued camera, as I haven’t paid it off yet!

Oh well, it’s still an amazing camera with features that no other camera can rival at any price, really. I say this to myself as I rock back and forth like a madman each night worried to death! :)

My Sony F55 with it's new VOCUS

My Sony F55 with it’s new VOCAS rig

My Sony F55 with it's new VOCUS

My Sony F55 with it’s new VOCAS rig

My Sony F55 with it's new VOCUS

My Sony F55 with it’s new VOCAS rig

If they gave the F5 4K internal, what would make people buy it over the new camera?

Perhaps the DCI 4k if the FS7 is only UHD?

Maybe the slow motion on the new camera will be at similar intervals to the FS700, so no fine control of the specific frame rates.

16 bit Raw output compared to the 12 bit, which to be fair is not that big a deal for almost everyone.

I am not sure what else but they need to add more with this massive price difference or simply drop the F5 price, which doesn’t help current owners. It’s a tough one, and I can see a lot of F5 owners being a bit miffed maybe about this. Some people will say that’s the problem with buying expensive cameras these days and also being an early adaptor. Maybe, but I have owned my F55 only a year and with all the media, EVF, raw recorder and batteries it has cost me a huge amount of money. It’s an investment, and investments ideally last a lot longer than a year.

Sony have promised these camera will be constantly upgraded with firmware, and this has been true so far. So maybe we are in for many more features that could separate these two beasts from the young pretender?




I have no camera loyalty to any manufacturer. I still think the Canon C300 is the best documentary camera out there, but mine is now sold because of the F55. I couldn’t justify keeping it after I bought the mega expensive Sony.

I did keep both my 1DC and my C100. The C100 is an amazing camera for the price. Sure no 4K, no slow motion and the codec sucks, but stick an Atomos on it and you have a C300 pretty much.

For the new CNN doc series I have been shooting, my main camera is the F55, the camera on my Movi M5 is the A7s, and the main B-Cam is the Canon C100. They are a bit tricky to cut together but do-able. All have their pros and cons.The F55 is not exactly a subtle camera and quite often I need to look less pro, so I have been using the A7s a lot. The C100 image really does impress though.



Canon of course need to respond soon, or they will lose out. They need a 4K internal camera to compete around this price point AND they SO need a camera that can shoot super slow motion. Whether they can bring it in at around the $8k mark seems unlikely, given the C300 price point is still around $12k, but they may well have to give Sony a break from competing with themselves! ;)

There we go. Find out if I was right on the Friday the 12th. If so, then I am most likely going to buy this as my new B-camera, it’s such a great price and it could well be my A-camera when I don’t want to bring my much heavier F55 with me on shoots when space and weight is a premium, like some of the destinations for this new series are going to be.

I absolutely won’t be selling my F55, first off it isn’t paid off yet, but also it’s an amazing camera that does have more features than this new Sony, and I do expect Sony to bring it more features to keep it their flagship large sensor broadcast camera.

We shall see on Friday if this is all true and whether I will make that hundred quid at the bookies!

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Everything You Need to Know About Codecs Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:46:09 +0000 600x315_second_shooter

“It shoots AVCHD MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 1080P 24Mbps at 8-bit 4:2:0.”

Say what??

David Kong here with another video tutorial for you, this time on codecs. I’ve found a lot of confusion and mis-information around the internet about how codecs work, how the differ, and why those differences matter.

Hopefully, this video/post will clear those up. I know it’s long, but I really wanted to break it down and explain things thoroughly, rather than just skimming the surface like a lot of tutorials do. Codecs can sound impossibly complex when all you get is a bunch of numbers and acronyms, but the main concepts at work really aren’t that complicated.



I explain the concepts behind different types of codecs, but I also give some real-world examples which should help you understand how these algorithms work on a practical level, pulling frames into Photoshop to break them down and examine how our codecs have changed the image.

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The reality is that there are dozens of different techniques that codecs use, but I focused on the ones that are most important for you to understand because they can impact your shooting and editing decisions on a day-to-day basis.

Here’s an outline of what I cover in this tutorial:

  • What a codec is - And how it differs from a container.
  • Different types of codecs – And why I frequently use 4 different codecs on a single project.
  • Bit Depth – What it means and why it matters.
  • Chroma Subsampling – 4:4:4, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0, and when it becomes an issue.
  • Spatial Compression and Blocking – One of the most common artefacts you see with normal work.
  • Temporal Compression – Long-GOP codecs, inter-frame compression, and ALL-I codecs.
  • Lossless vs. Lossy compression – How image compression differs from data compression.
  • Bit Rate – How to calculate bit rates and the differences between kbps/kBps/Mbps/MBps.
  • Raw – Briefly, the difference between Raw, compressed, and uncompressed (this could have been a 40-minute tutorial on its own!)

As always, comment and let me know if anything here isn’t clear.


How Codecs Work – Tutorial from David Kong on Vimeo.

Coming Soon…

I’m also going to do a more “practical” post on how to choose export settings when you’re rending out of Premiere / Final Cut. This video was more theoretical, explaining the techniques that codecs use. The next video will be all about how you make those decisions about how to tweak the settings. Let me know if there’s a particular setting that has always confused you, and I’ll make sure that I cover it!

– David

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My slightly belated entry for this little internet craze… Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:32:58 +0000 600x315_second_shooter

It’s been everywhere. You can read about how it came about and what ALS is and why it’s great that awareness has been raised for this disease.

I had been nominated quite a few times, the first I believe by Lok from Digital Rev. I would have done it in the 24 hours that the rules say, had I not been wiped out by man flu. I would say I am just about fully recovered, so I decided now was the time to get it done!


Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I had my A7s ready for second camera but I didn’t use it in the end. Here with the wooden camera rig

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset
Using the F55 and my Sigma 50mm F1.4,  I shot everything at 180fps. This is recorded super slow motion in-camera so it’s 180fps in 23.98p and plays back slow motion instantly. When on my premiere timeline, this is 100% speed, to get it to play back at “normal speed” I then sped it up by 750%. 180 divided by 24 is 7.5 hence 750%. I simply razor bladed the clip at the moment I wanted to go back to what was recorded, the super slow motion, and changed the speed back to 100%. To go back again to “normal speed” for the post ice reaction, I just did the same thing razor blade on the 100% shot then the cut section becomes 750%

We did two takes, as the first one I didn’t want to use as I wanted this to be a one shot, and dad had the bucket in frame before pouring it on me and after. I wasn’t manning the F55, where I would have seen that, as I was a bit busy. Being the perfectionist that I am I had to redo it! I could have fixed it in post, but I am a purist, “fix in on set” kind of guy, hence the hair dryer and take two! Mum bought some more ice which I think adds to take two anyway.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Audio was taken from my RX100 III that was doing a shot of my dad which you can see near the end. There isn’t any audio when shooting high frame rates on the F55, so do remember that, especially if you want to run the shot at normal speed like I did.

I did put a RODE Smart Lav II on me and my iPod touch in my pocket, but I must have accidentally click pause in the RODE Rec app, stupid me, as I didn’t record all my audio. So for the edit I used a mixture of RX100 III audio, foley, and some ADR for my dialogue. I know it sounds a teeny bit fake, but given the nature of what this is, I felt it actually added a slightly surreal touch to it.

Processed with VSCOcam with k2 preset

I lit this with my Cineo Lighting TruColor LS remote phosphor light. This is a stunning light. I bought it to use on the documentary in Detroit for all my interviews, and since then it has become a key part of my kit. The bigger version, the HS which kicks out the equivalent of 4K  (this is around 1K) I have used many times. I love it, but for practical reasons I bought the smaller version.

I will be talking about these lights more soon. I also have the exceptional AREA 48 Soft. Another lovely remote phosphor light

This was graded with FilmConvert (10% off wide code bloom at and a bit of custom curves. You can see the comparison below. Left is original S-Log 2 with S-Gamut colour. Right is the graded version

Screenshot 2014-09-01 17.11.17

Anyway if you fancy doing one, go for it!! I have challenged Eric Kessler, Vincent LaForet, and James Miller. If you do go for it, try and do something more than having it filmed on your iPhone! After all….we are filmmakers aren’t we? :)

That’s it for charity silliness from me for now, that is until Movember…I hope to do it again this year. Fingers crossed!




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Get your film made with #ProjectFilmSupply from The Music Bed Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:14:37 +0000 600x315_second_shooter
The Music Bed have been a revelation for me. I adore music, and my taste is very eclectic and my collection of music rather large. It would be great to be able to use what I want on all my films, but of course it doesn’t work that way.  So when TMB came along and I started to browse their library, even though I had never heard of the artists, the music was fantastic and I have used them so many times over the past two or so years (maybe longer?) Their tracks in my epic reviews have helped carry their length, but it’s not just my reviews. So much of my personal films are scored to TMB music. 

Strangely, they asked to come to my home earlier this year to make one of their mini docs. Christian Schultz who shoots these is a visual poet and a lovely chap. I thought it was a total waste of his skills, talent and time to come with the team to my little house, but they insisted and I was pleasantly surprised by the mini doc they made. Even though I was utterly jet lagged when they did the interview and don’t remember saying half of the stuff in here. It’s way more personal than normal interviews. Oh well.

I wanted to share this on my site without doing a specific post, which would come across as a bit too narcissistic! Thankfully this was the perfect chance to share it here rather than just on my social media outlets!


Making Room from The Music Bed on Vimeo.

Anyway, back to the main topic of the post. It’s always flattering to be asked to be a judge for filmmaking competitions, and this one is fascinating. Rather than submit your film to win the prizes, you submit your idea. We, the judges, with the help of the community,  then choose the top 3 and then the winner. The prizes are pretty epic. Let me hand over to the fellas at The Music Bed to explain properly: 




When it comes to championing independent filmmakers of every skill level and walk of life, we can’t think of a more kindred spirit than Philip Bloom. Philip was one of the first and finest to latch on to The Music Bed’s vision of licensing relevant music to filmmakers — as well as inspiring and resourcing creatives to tell stories better than ever.

Philip is also a contributor to The Music Bed’s sister stock footage licensing company, Film Supply. Together, we’re raising the stock film aesthetic bar and challenging creatives to grow in their knowledge and love for film and meaningful storytelling.

That’s why we’re so excited about our latest campaign: #ProjectFilmSupply. The idea is pretty simple. We’re going to help filmmakers bring their dream projects to life.

#ProjectFilmSupply from The Music Bed on Vimeo.




This is the biggest giveaway we’ve ever done, with over $50,000 in prizes available from seven incredible brands: RØDE, Kessler, Freefly, G-Tech, Blackmagic, No Film School, Zacuto, LensProToGo, and Squarespace plus music and film licenses from The Music Bed & Film Supply. All filmmakers have to do is pitch their short film ideas on, and the public will vote on which films they want to see made.

This isn’t just a chance for filmmakers to win some money and some gear. It’s a chance for them to bring the projects they’re most passionate about to life.



Here’s how #ProjectFilmSupply works, step by step.


Step 1: For one month (starting August 4), we’ll ask the filmmaking community to submit a short film idea + mood board for the project they’ve always dreamed of creating.

Step 2: Those who submit an idea will ask their friends, family, and followers to vote for their projects.

Step 3: The Community + TMB will decide which three film concepts rise to the top and which one absolutely has to become a reality (the two runners up will receive loads of incredible prizes)

We can’t wait to see the amazing films that come out of #ProjectFilmSupply! Please spread the word, follow along, cast your vote, and if you have a dream project in mind — enter to win at!



TMB-PFS_Photo-2 TMB-PFS_Photo-1


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