Leave a Comment

After shooting a few projects with the BlackMagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K camera, I found several that I could sometimes get away with just the audio from the built in microphones. But as soon as I threw on my Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 lens with Image Stabilization (Ursa is not full frame), the camera microphones would pick up all of the IS noise. Once that noise was embedded into the audio, it was no longer usable. So I set out to find a good microphone that I could mount over the handle.

I personally wanted the shortest shotgun microphone, powered over XLR phantom so I didn't have to worry about batteries. I wanted to find the slimmest shock mount so it didn't sit too high (trying to keep the camera clean and simple). It didn't need to be the best microphone in the world, as I was only planning to use it mostly on camera for good scratch audio or sound bites. After reviewing a few options I found the Azden SGM-PDII to be a good fit and has excellent customer reviews. Over at B&H they have an Azden SGM-PDII Shotgun Mic Kit that includes the shock mount, and the microphone already comes with a short XLR lead.

Running through the tests mounted on camera, the SGM-PDII was completely free of any Image Stabilization noise from my lens. So for my on-camera needs it works great. And surprisingly I found the microphone also sounded very good when booming overhead, so it's something I would even use during interviews. If you're working with a camera that has built in XLR inputs (i.e. Sony FS7) and looking for something better than the built in microphones, you may want to take a look at the Azden SGM-PDII Short Shotgun Microphone.

azden sgm-pdii shotgun short microphone xlr ursaazden sgm-pdii microphone shotgun ursa mini
Learn-More-sm Azden SGM-PDII Professional Shotgun Microphone

7 Comments

First off, let's state the obvious! Of course i'm bound to have IR Pollution issues without using a proper 'IR Cut Filter'. But the point of this video is to show that even basic ND Filters that are not advertised with IR Cut can all perform differently, so it's better to test out your filters with specific cameras before heading out to shoot a full project.

I've used my Tiffen Static ND Filters happily on many of my cameras without issues. It's a nice sharp image. But as the BlackMagic Design Ursa Mini 4.6K is more sensitive to IR Pollution this (non-IR Cut) Tiffen ND 1.2 is probably the worst ND Filter you can use with the Ursa Mini 4.6K or other IR Sensitive cameras.

Again, I know none of these filters are advertised as IR Cut and you could probably spend a good amount of money on some special filters. But in this case, the URSA Mini 'without' a filter doesn't seem too bad so you may get away without one. And the LCW Fader ND MKII (though not advertised as IR cut) seems to handle IR Pollution extremely well, so it's a variable ND I can highly recommend. You can find the LCW Fader ND MKII Variable ND via B&H (click here).

Or you can also find the LCW Fader ND MKII Variable ND via Amazon (click here)
Ursa Mini IR Cut Filter Pollution Light Craft Workshop Fader ND MKII
Learn-More-smLight Craft WorkShop Fader ND MKII

8 Comments

If you're looking for a super lightweight affordable motorized Time Lapse slider, here's an interesting Motorized 2-Axis Auto Panning Slider that was sent over from DigiSlider. The Auto-panning addition allows the slider to keep a subject in the center of your frame while in motion. Here's a video overview and a short Time Lapse sample towards the end of the video.

Unlike a basic motorized slider that has moves constantly, the DigiSlider Controller can be setup for true shoot-move-shoot settings. This allows you to work with long exposures as you can configure the slider to wait to move until your camera is done firing - preventing blurry images.

It's also possible to use the DigiSlider 2-Axis as a real time Auto Panning (parallax) video slider, and you can dial in different speed settings. But keep in mind that there is audible noise from the motor so it may not work well for interview settings or where audio is critical.

The design of the Auto Panning option is clever as it doesn't require a motor like other 2 or 3 Axis Motorized Sliders. This makes it very fast and simple to setup, but this design is also limited how far you can Pan the camera inwards to keep a subject in frame. Your subject cannot be too close for Auto Panning to work effectively (angle would be too great).

Also, keep in mind that this slider is setup with a motor and belt drive, so you cannot move it manually by hand. To move the slider it has to be connected to the Controller. Unless of course if you disconnect the belt drive using a basic hex tool, then you can use the slider by hand for times you don't need the motor, and you will still have full access to the Auto Panning feature.

DigiSlider offers a number of different Time Lapse and Motion Control Solutions, and for more information about this product, check out their website http://www.DigiSldier.co.uk (link)

Digislider-auto-pan
Learn-More-smDIGISLIDER 2 Axis Auto-Pan Video TimeLapse Stop Motion Slider

1 Comment

NAB 2016, Konova introduces the Sun Jib available in three different lengths (S400, S700, and S900). The design is slightly different than most jibs as the self leveling mechanism is completely enclosed into a single bar.

konova sun jib crane
Learn-More-sm Konova Sun Jib S400 S700 S900

The SunJib is not only simple and fast to setup, but also designed specifically to be 'Vibration and Flex Free' (no wiggle) allowing for smoother camera motion. They claim that you can stand a coin up on it's side and boom the SunJib without the coin falling over. This precision and smooth operation is helpful for longer focal length lenses, or close up Macro work where any movement would be highly exaggerated.

More information about the Konova Sun Jib is available at http://KonovaPhoto.com (found here)

konova sun jib vibration free
Learn-More-sm Konova Sun Jib S400 S700 S900

1 Comment

Ok, everyone knows that these days it's all about '3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizers', but this
new folding 2-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhones at just under $50 dollars is a bit hard to ignore. Of course that depends if it works well at all.

s-l1600 x-cam iphone stabilizer
Learn-More-sm 2-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhone

The missing 3rd axis here is the YAW (panning) which mainly plays a role when walking or running. But if you're in a fairly static stance and just sweeping your arms up, down, left, and right the 2 Motors included in this stabilizer (Pitch and Roll) are all you'll really need. So while many gimbals out there for smartphones are going hundreds of dollars, this new iPhone 2-Axis Gimbal is up for under $50 bucks (found here)

x-cam iphone gimbal stabilizer 2-Axisx-cam iphone two axis stabilizer
Learn-More-sm 2-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhone

For international buyers, you can find this 2-Axis iPhone Stabilizer for Under $60 dollars + Free Shipping via eBay (found here)
.


x-cam iphone stabilizer 2 axis bluetooth
Learn-More-sm 2-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhone

style="border:1px solid black;"

Leave a Comment

For those of you who fly the DJI Inspire1 Quadcopter, take a look at this camera. It looks very similar to the original X3, but in fact this is DJI's latest camera - the Zenmuse Z3 with built in Optical Zoom.

dji zenmuse z3 with optical zoom

The Zenmuse Z3 Camera uses the same Sony-built 1/2.3-inch camera sensor found in the original DJI's Inspire1 X3 and Phantom 4 able to shoot 4K at up to 30 frames per second, 12-megapixel still images, but now it has the added feature of a 7x Zoom (3.5x optical + 2x digital zoom) which they say is roughly 22-77mm equivalent.

Normally the only way to get closer is to physically fly the drone closer. so the Z3 should really help many of us with better framing. Zoom control is performed through swiping on the DJI App. The Zenmuse Z3 will directly mount up with the Inspire 1, Matrice 100, and the new Matrice 600 drones.

dji zenmuse z3 4k video camera dji inspire1 drone wiith zenmuse z3 camera dji matrice zenmuse z3 camera video

Available to purchase now via DJI Zenmuse Z3 Product Page (here).

dji z3 optical zoom camera gimbal
Learn-More-sm DJI Zenmuse Z3 Camera with Optical Zoom

9 Comments

Here's a look at the new Epiphan Video AV.iO 4K HDMI to USB Adapter that takes the Video Output from your cameras and allows you to input them to your Laptop or Computer. They also offer many other to capture video feeds from SD-SDI, HD-SDI, DVI, VGA, and more! These new adapters can input up to 4K Resolutions for which you can Capture, Record, or Stream.

Once you have your camera's Video Feed on your system you can choose to Record or Stream from your camera's video and audio directly to services such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and many other online services. This is a great way to use professional cameras and zoom lenses instead of using cheap webcams for your Live Stream. I use adapters like these to stream from my Multi Camera Live Switch Setup (seen here).

You can also take the feed from your cameras and use software like ScopeBox turning your Mac Laptop or iMac into professional a large screen Directors Monitor complete with Waveforms, Vectorscopes, RGB Parade, Histograms, Focus Peaking, Zebras, and more!

The Epiphan 4K Video AV.iO Adapters work over USB so no Thunderbolt ports needed (unlike some BlackMagic Design adapters), no drivers to install, and no software required for the adapter to be seen by many popular applications. There is also no configurations needed to set the proper resolution or framerate, most software such as just sees the device. Very Simple. Remember that this can take up to 4K resolutions (not just 1080).

You can find a complete line of Epiphan 4K to USB Adapters on their website (found here).
epiphan video 4k hdmi sdi to usb capture device card

The 4K HDMI to USB adapter is also available on Amazon (click here).

epiphan video 4k hdmi to usb capture device card
Learn-More-sm Epiphan Video 4K HDMI to USB Capture Record Stream Adapter

7 Comments

Yesterday I received an early production model of the OSMO Extender Adapter from Kamerar. It's a pretty straight forward accessory that simply adds 30" inches of extension between your DJI OSMO handle and Camera Gimbal dji osmo camera gimbal.
But just in case you need to know more, here's a short video overview and just a few samples.

Having received this early production model, this means that the Kamerar OSMO Extender Adapter will start shipping in the next few days for those who have already pre-ordered. It also means final call if you're looking to take advantage of the 15% OFF discount pre-order pricing (found here).

OSMO
Learn-More-sm Kamerar Extender Adapter for DJI OSMO

1 Comment

Ever since I picked up the Fujifilm X100T, i've been a huge fan of Fujifilm mirrorless cameras for still photography. There's just something about the image quality and color that I favor over my Canon, Sony, and Panasonic Cameras. Now FujiFilm has introduced the X-T2 which is a serious Stills Camera but now has the added option for 4K Video recording.

Video recording on the Fujifilm X-T2 can be set to true 24p with an HDMI out at 4:2:2 with an F-LOG flat profile. Combined with the battery grip you'll have everything from a Microphone input to Headphone output. I don't think it will be a major video competitor to Sony or Panasonic but I can see this as an excellent camera for those who Primarily shoot stills and dabble in video every now and then.

fujifilm xt-2 mirrorless camera
Learn-More-sm Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera