I’ve had this Mitakon Lens Turbo MFT Adapter for a almost a week and I am just getting ready to publish a video showing some examples from this. Recently I noticed an increase of questions and the amount ‘buzz’ picking up around the Internet, so I wanted to quickly provide some additional important information. THIS ADAPTER WILL NOT WORK ON THE #BMPCC BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. It simply will not fit or attach to the camera.
If you’re not familiar with this adapter, it’s similar to the Metabones Speed Booster (found here) (but less than half the price). Always a concern on smaller MFT cameras is the cropped sensor. The Lens Turbo adapter offers a wider field of view on these smaller sensor cameras and also increases your Aperture by 1 F-Stop. Your lenses are now wider and faster!
Right now the Lens Turbo MFT / M43 adapter fits Nikon (F, G, Ai, Ai-s, E) manual lenses and should work perfectly on your Panasonic GH3 or BlackMagic Cinema Camera MFT mount (not Pocket Cinema). How well does it actually perform? Give me a few days, and you’ll see a video with a variety of examples.
For more info, you can find the Lens Turbo MFT Focal Reducer adapter available now via eBay (click here).
Lens Turbo Focal Reducer Nikon to MFT Micro Four Thirds Adapter
Earlier I tested the CAME 5000 stabilizer with a Panasonic GH3 (found here). These new stabilizers work best when your camera is perfectly balanced. There was no instruction manual on how to properly balance a camera on this stabilizer, but I think i’ve figured it out.
So here’s a very quick follow up video on how to balance a camera on a 3 Axis Brushless Motorized Gimbal Stabilizer. I’m just using a DIY Frame with a bunch of 15mm Rails, clamps, and friction arms to hold up the Gimbal. However you manage to hold up your stabilizer, try to keep it as level as possible before starting your balancing steps.
Now that I think my camera is balanced much better, i’ll have to take her out for a spin again. In case you’re just dropping in on this article, you can see my first test run (with an imbalanced camera) at the following article: First Impression – CAME 5000 3-Axis Brushless Motor Gimbal Video Stabilizer
I’m sure everyone is aware of 3-Axis Gimbal Video Camera Stabilizers surfacing on the Internet. Some people think this is going to be the future of hand held stabilization in cinema. There are literally dozens of versions available today, and here’s one of the inexpensive versions that was sent over to me – the CAME 5000.
This article is truly my first impressions on the CAME 5000 product, so keep in mind I am by no means an expert in this area. If you are just now looking into these types of stabilizers, hopefully this review should appeal to many of you who are also not experts. First let’s take a look at a demo video about the CAME 5000 Stabilizer from the company.
Notice that with fast movements the camera stays pretty level, but with slower movements the camera will ‘follow’ the direction of Pan/Tilt. This area of operation does require a bit of practice steering the camera in different directions. Now lets take a look at what I was able to achieve with my first tests in this 15 minute video overview (below).
No matter how expensive other systems are, my impressions are that these gimbals are not as simple as they have been advertised to be. Like any other tool it can yield great results or look totally amateurish. It still boils down to skill and experience. Practice and and patience to perfectly balance your camera. Swapping out to another lens on this type of system will take several minutes to re-balance.
Ok, so from the examples I shot as a first time user, I think the unit seems to work pretty well with a Panasonic GH3 camera. The footage has not been stabilized in post, and it seemed to stay pretty level as I rolled the handles around. They state this CAME 5000 model can easily support larger Canon 5D (or similar) DSLR Camera Bodies.
Can this particular system perform even better than my examples? Considering my inexperience and lack of patience to perfectly balance my camera, I think there is definitely plenty of room for improved footage. How much better, I can’t really say. Only time will tell as I continue to practice more and hopefully work with many other 3-Axis Gimbals. I’ll be revisiting this again shortly as I think I figured out how to better balance my camera…
Here’s a video overview of Aputure’s latest VS-3 7″ IPS LCD HDMI Monitor. You’ll notice we have this hooked up to the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera [#BMPCC], and we’ve confirmed that it can display the 10bit uncompressed 4:2:2 output.
One main concern for affordable monitors is always color accuracy. This is a highly subjective subject, but Aputure claims the colors on these monitors are pre-calibrated before shipping out from the factory.
I’m not saying it’s going to look as good as a SmallHD AC7, but keep in mind the Aputure VS-3 is a sub $400 dollar display that offers many advanced overlays the AC7 does not – (audio meters, etc.). The monitor offers an HDMI pass through so you can still send the signal to another monitor or wireless video transmitter.
VS-3 Product Introduction
Aputure’s V-Screen VS-3 is an ultra-thin 7” IPS monitor featuring a crystal clear WSVGA display, wide viewing angle, low power consumption, multiple aspect ratios, and includes essential functions such as Volume Bar, PEAK, False Color Display, Zebra Marking, Brightness Histogram, etc. It supports multiple signal inputs, including HDMI/YPbPr/AV (Audio/L/R). It also has a universal mount, double power supply, and sunhood to help you to shoot anywhere.
Additional Information, availability, and pricing for the Aputure V-Screen VS-3 7″ IPS LCD HDMI Monitor can be found via eBay (click here).
Aputure VS-3 V-Screen 7″ IPS LCD HDMI Monitor
If you’re not currently working with a professional audio recorder, now’s the time. The Zoom H4n is currently on sale for an instant savings of $-100 OFF (limited supply). Now just $169, this is the lowest price i’ve ever seen since it’s release. Check it out (here).
If you’re working with a client or talent that needs to pitch a script, or even if you’re a sole blogger who needs to remember key points during your video presentation, nothing beats a legit teleprompter. By ‘legit’ I mean a camera’s lens that sits directly behind an actual beam splitter. Throwing your smart phone to the side of the lens does not yield the same results when your talent’s eyes are wandering off.
An iPad sized prompter should cover most use cases, but because of the size, it may not always be practical for travel, working in the field, or when using small camera systems. For times when you want minimal, small, compact, and lightweight this Listec PW-04 Teleprompter is great for mobile screens and smaller camcorder systems (and perhaps #GH3, #BMPCC?).
via YouTube kelbymediagroup
Typically sold for $320 dollars, the Listec PW-04 is available today with an instant savings of -$120 (now just $199) complete with hard case and bluetooth remote. Check it out (click here).
[ Prompter Software Tip: ] Of course the Listec will offer prompting software, and there are dozens available through the app stores, but EasyPrompter.com is another option as a web based version. Here’ a bit more info, and you can check it out at EasyPrompter.com:
Some of the features available:
Adjustable font size
Mirrored display capable through our exclusive font download
Elapsed Time Display
Supports keyboard and mouse controls (start/pause, ff/rew, etc) so you can control the prompter remotely
Can run full screen with no distracting ads, banners or control graphics
Control pad can be undocked for 2 screen operation – this way there is nothing but the text on the second monitor
When it comes to the #BMPCC, there’s a few accessories you may want to add-on, and so a solid cage is a good starting point to carry these extras. Adding on a pair of 15mm rails will get you even further when it comes to mounting video accessories. I’ve shared a few BMPCC cages on this blog, but here’s an actual look at the parts and assembly of the new Tilta BMPCC Cage [BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera Cage].
Tilta is well known for their build quality and finish in products, typically targeting high end camera models. This new Titla BMPCC Cage is no exception. Optionally the Tilta Cage can be purchased with a Top Handle and a set of Rails. The rails are mounted through a quick release system under the main cage, and you still have full access to all ports, battery, and sdxc card slot. An HDMI Lock is included to keep your cable in place and to prevent damage to your camera. [Note: using this lock can block access to your DC input]
The only things I’ve found to be of small concern is the low profile Top Handle that gets in the way of my RedRock Micro Live Lens adapter. I’m unable to attach or remove the RRM adapter when the Tilta Top handle is mounted. The silver-ish finish on the rails look great, but one pass and they are easily scratched up. This doesn’t affect any functionality of course. Overall a solid product for mounting accessories to your BMPCC.
Just because Black Friday and Cyber Monday have past, this doesn’t means the deals have stopped. This morning Ed points out Amazon is offering a Buy One Get One Free‘ on these Tascam Closed-Back Headphones [Thanks Ed].
Are they any good? Don’t just take my word for it, there are 80+ reviews on Amazon that you can sift through, and at a price of only $26 Dollar headphones (found here), you’ll get a set (2). Great deal.
Buy One TASCAM TH02-B Black Closed-Back Stylish Headphone and Get one Free
For a limited time, buy one TASCAM TH02-B black closed-back headphone and receive a second one free. Simply add two TASCAM TH02-B black headphones to your Cart and the second headphone will be free at checkout. Offer applies only to the TASCAM TH02-B black headphone. Here’s how (restrictions apply). Discounts only apply to items sold by Amazon.com. Does not apply to products sold by third-party merchants and other sellers through the Amazon.com site.
02Dec Cyber Monday Deals
I can’t wrap my head around all the deals this weekend, but as far as what I think might be of interest to this audience, here’s a short list.
Adobe Lightroom V5. (expires in a few hours).
Great Deal especially if you’re working with RAW images (or even CinemaDNG files).
Adobe Lightroom V5
$121.00 Now just $72 dollars (found here).
Rokinon Lens Deals.
They seem to be promoting these quite a bit today (and selling quite a few).
Rokinon 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens – Choice in Mount $279 (found here)
Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye (Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony) $199 (found here)
Panasonic GH3 Save $300 OFF
Probably the most full featured MFT Video & Photo Camera. It rocks.
Panasonic GH3 Camera -$300 OFF Cyber Monday (found here)
Sigma Macro Lens – ALL MOUNTS -$300 OFF
Portraits or up close details. Great for Wedding & Event Coverage.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS Macro Lens -$300 OFF – Cyber Monday (found here)
Canon Powershot S110 -$100 OFF
Nothing beats a solid pocketable camera. If you can’t afford the $750 Sony RX100, the Canon S110 for just $219 (today) is my next suggestion.
Canon Powershot S110 – Cyber Monday (found here)
Seagate 3TB Drive + THUNDERBOLT Dock
These are so awesome, I own three. If you’re working with SSD Sata drives (BlackMagic Cinema Cameras), you can dock directly to this and start editing. Once you work with Thunderbolt Speeds, it’s hard to go back to USB. Sucks for me – I paid over $400+ each. Today, you can get it for just $199.
Seagate Backup Plus 3 TB Drive + Thunderbolt Dock Desktop External Hard Drive (found here)
Sandisk Extreme PRO SDHC / SDXC 32GB – 64GB
A must have for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera to shoot RAW. 64GB will give you about 20 minutes of RAW on the BMPCC, time to stock up. They are now up to 30% cheaper than when I purchased them.
Sandisk EXTREME PRO SDHC / SDXC Up to 30% OFF (found here)
Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II
Newest version. Originally $2499, now down to $2K. But wait, could this also qualify for the current Mail-In-Rebate for an additional $300 OFF bringing it down to just $1700?
Lens Listing: Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II – Checkout Price $2K (found here).
Mail-In-Rebate: Additional $300 OFF (found here)
[Keep checking back as i'll be updating through the day].
The reason why these Seiki 4K Displays are so cheap is that they are just stripped down to bare bones. You won’t find a tuner, or a set of quality speakers. There’s no fancy aluminum housing with a coated glass screen. You won’t find a Smart WiFi interface with Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu. It’s simply a display, but for the price – a damn good display!
While i’m not quite ready to start editing 4K videos, or watch 4K content, the MacBook Pro Retina (I have the old version) is able to utilize the full 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160. I’m currently running an external Thunderbolt Display as my main monitor, but as I was looking for a second display, I decided to try this 39″ 4K model. The colors are amazing, fonts are sharp, and images look great. I would not advise this to be a primary monitor for creative graphics use, but definitely a worthy addition as a secondary display.
My system can only support a 30hz refresh rate at full 4K, but considering this is my secondary display for static content it’s not a big deal. Seiki also offers a 50″ inch 4K Television (found here), but would be just too big as a monitor.
Now when the 39″ version of this 4K TV hit retailers it was announced for $699. Over on eBay it’s still listed for $580 (seen here). That’s an amazing price for a 4K television today, but right now they are on sale for just $480! (found here).
Seiki 39″ 4K HDMI Television 3840 x 2160 Display Monitor
Dynamic camera movements can really increase the value of your production, but also requires more man power (and budget). The ideas within this article are based on setting up a second camera on a Video Slider without having a second Camera Operator (completely unattended). This ‘B’ camera angle offers dynamic movements so that you can cut away to the footage when needed. This is an excellent idea and a few companies are already on the ball with new products (coming soon).
First up is the Kessler Parallax system that offers a mechanical Parallax panning motion to your video head as it tracks left and right. Neat trick, but to get this fully automated you’ll have to tie in to the Kessler Oracle system, which not only adds additional cost in the end, but extra equipment to assemble during production. More info at http://www.kessleru.com/2013/09/update-kessler-parallax/
Next we have the RedRock Micro One Man Crew. This motorized slider offers a curved (Parabolic) track to keep your subject in focus as it moves left to right (and back again). Completely silent with options to set a limit on range, and control speeds. The best part is that it is an all in one solution that’s quick to set up and quick to store away. Starting at $1500 dollars (seen here), it carries a decent price tag, but it will save you from hiring an extra person to man a sliding camera. After finishing this article, you may come to realize the price to be very reasonable. More info at http://store.redrockmicro.com/OneManCrew
Now i’ve been asked several times if this was something that could be built at home (a.k.a DIY). Here i’m going to introduce a very basic concept on how i’ve managed to accomplish the same ‘ping-pong’ / ‘back-forth’ effect on a cheap DIY motorized slider kit (seen here) with an additional $10 dollars worth of switches, wiring, and a relay, and absolutely no programming. It’s basically a simple and dumb electro-mechanical system.
Unmanned, unattended, looping, automated, it all sounds pretty good. Yet you can see how this basic system fails to provide many of the ‘Smart’ features of the more expensive products coming to market. On the flip-side, one advantage is that with this basic circuit one can expand this idea outside of just a typical slider. (Yes i’m already working on those ideas).
First Test – Building the Circuit Automated Looping Motorized Slider
Here’s a schematic of my layout. You’ll notice how each side of the motor has both negative and positive from the battery, but only one set is active from the DPDT.
Click for Larger Version
Two 3 Pin NO+NC Momentary Micro Switches (as found here) at each end reverse the polarity of the motor each time they are triggered.
A 12V DPDT Relay (as found here) is either ‘Always ON’ until the slider reaches the opposite switch which drops power to the relay.
In one direction, the relay is technically ‘STUCK ON’ by way of a tricky little feedback loop in the circuit. To turn the entire slider on or off, i’m just using the switch from the battery. In this example, i’m not using a speed controller, but one can easily be added.
Some people want to stick with big brand names – nothing with wrong with that. So if you’re looking for my suggestion in this area, one of my favorite Stabilizer + Vests combinations still to this day is the hybrid Steadicam Merlin Vest + Glidecam HD4000 Stabilizer.
Obviously the Glidecam Stabilizer can be used without a Vest, when you just need to fly hand held. If you need the extra support for long hours of Steadicam work, you can mount the Glidecam to the Steadicam Merlin Vest (with an adapter).
The ISO ARM on the Merlin Vest can be dialed to fly both lightweight cameras as well as medium weight camera systems. This is a true ‘Steadicam’ branded vest, and build quality on the ISO Arm is top notch. Typically this vest runs $1600 dollars (some retailers still list this price), but recently it’s been discounted for just $995 (found here).
Now i’m not a fan of the Velcro straps on the actual vest part. So the only other thing I highly suggest getting is the Buckle Upgrade Kit (found here). This little kit will get rid of those nasty velcro straps that are both noisy and will eventually wear out. You can find that kit below (click here).
Steadicam Merlin Vest Buckle Upgrade Kit
So if you’re working with the Glidecam HD4000 (or similar post) Stabilizer, to mate the two you can either DIY an adapter (as seen here), or you can pick up a ready made post from Berkey designed specifically for this Hybrid setup. Here’s a link to the adapter required to allow the Glidecam Stabilizers to work with this Steadicam Merlin Vest.
Berkey Glidecam Post Adapter to Steadicam Merlin Vest
Tilta BMPCC Cage Shown with optional Tilta accessories
Now more options to rig up your BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Cameras. The new Tilta BMPCC Cage which was announced earlier this year is available. If you’re lucky you can find the cage only for around $250 US, or the complete kit which includes the Top Handle + 15mm Rail Clamp which may run you a bit over $400 US (found here).
Tilta BMPCC Cage Top Handle 15mm Rail Clamp
The Pocket Cinema Camera now offers amazing RAW image capture, but I do think to get the most out of it, you’ll need to add-on a battery pack, and a good EVF (LCD) at the least. If you’re trying to capture audio to the camera, that’s an entirely different story, but this all boils down to using some type of rig to mount these items. The Tilta BMPCC Cage is just one other option to offer dozens of mounting points for your accessories including two cold shoes at the front of the Top Handle.
Thanks to Rob for pointing out another one of those hidden Canon lens deals. This time it’s for the Canon 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5 USM Lens. Keep in mind this is an EF-S mount for APS-C Canon cameras like the Canon 7D, 60D, T4i/T5i Rebel, etc.
It can also be used if you’re rocking the BlackMagic Cinema Camera EF mount, or to get a wider view with cameras like the Pocket Cinema Camera (3X crop) & Panasonic GH3 with a smart adapter like the Redrock Micro LiveLens MFT Active Lens Mount.
Not the widest, nor does it have a constant fixed aperture, but it’s a very sharp lens. Typically with these wide lenses, I’m always stopping down to F/5.6 anyways for Stabilizer use. Here’s a 3 year old uncut BTS example of this Canon 10-22mm lens at work on a 60D with a Glidecam HD4000.
Normal MSRP puts this lens at $649 minus -$50 instant rebate, but as you proceed to the checkout (you must proceed to checkout to see price change) it drops down to just $529 (found here).
Canon EF-S Wide Angle 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5 USM Lens
FYI, there’s also a checkout discount for the Canon 85mm F/1.8 Prime USM Lens. This lens will work on both APS-C and Full Frame Canon cameras. Following the checkout shows the price dropping it down to just $334.99 (found here)
Canon 85mm F/1.8 USM Prime Lens.
Getting started with V-Mount batteries is not a cheap investment. Even the cheapest V-Mount Battery + Charger Kit can easily run you well over $300+ Dollars. If you’re looking to power up camera gear with a V-Mount battery, here’s a closer look at a more affordable option using this adapter that can accept two common Sony L Series (NP-F) type batteries.
The V-mount adapter runs two 7.4V batteries in series to output between 13V-16V, and also has a d-tap connector if you plan to run a cable to power up optional accessories. The v-mount battery plate can be found via ebay (seen here).
V-Mount Battery Adapter for Sony L Series NP-F Batteries
In order to use these adapters properly and to get the best results, you should be using two exact batteries. Although you can find many aftermarket Sony L Series batteries for cheap, they will often come in different sizes, capacities, and ratings. I suggest buying them in pairs and labeling them together. Check out some of the Sony L Series Batteries via Amazon (found here).
Sony L Series NP-F550, NP-F750, NP-F960, NP-F570, NP-F770, NP-F970