There's a specific shot I need to do where I first follow a subject and then jib up to reveal the landscape. I could do this with a drone, but i'm afraid the dirt path could kick up dust. So I thought to simply attach a gimbal at the end of a pole. Most people i've seen doing jib shots with a gimbal are using monopods or boom poles, but because I wanted to possibly get more height, I needed a much sturdier telescoping post. A post that won't flex, bend, or break.
The Python Double Clamps are just one of many innovative products from 9.Solutions. The clamps simply let you clamp one thing to another, and the clamps can rotate as well. From a flat table, to square tubing, to round bars the shape of the Python clamp allows it to work across many different shapes. Even if you're not planning to attach a gimbal to the end of a C-Stand, you'll find good use with these Double Python Clamps. Highly recommended (found here)!
Gen Energy V-Mount Batteries are quickly becoming a popular choice with it's innovative Shock Proof Design, and their latest version now offers 'Short Circuit Protection' or what they refer to as 'Short Proof'. Peep the video below for an intro on this new feature.
Aside from just a robust build, Gen Energy Batteries are also known for many smart features built in that helps it retain a charge longer when not in use, or prevent excessive discharge that could damage batteries. Gen Energy batteries can also display proper percentage when used on cameras such as RED (some batteries won't communicate to display on-screen battery meter). Considering all of these features, Gen Energy batteries are still comparable to other current popular brands. There's no reason they should not be on your radar as an option for a professional battery.
If you travel much with a carry-on case, then you'll appreciate an equipment bag that has 4 wheels as opposed to just two. I myself use the "Think Tank Airport Roller" (found here) quite often. LowePro has recently offered up a new Photostream SP 200 Roller Bag. The Photostream is a less expensive option if you're looking for a dedicated equipment case on 4 wheels that also works with carry-on size restrictions.
Lowepro SP 200 Roller Overview
The PhotoStream SP 200 has exterior measurements of 13.8 x 8.8 x 21.7" and weighs 9.7 lb when empty, matching carry-on requirements for most American airlines. For keeping small items such as cables or lens caps, two zippered mesh pockets are conveniently located on the lid interior and allow for easy access to your accessories. As for transport, the case comes with a three-stage telescoping handle and four 360° wheels for easy rolling. When hand carrying is needed, you can use the integrated handles found at the top, side, or bottom of the bag.
Nylon and EVA hardshell case optimized for air travel
Holds 1 or 2 professional DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, plus 4-8 extra lenses, flashes, battery grips, etc.
Set of customizable padded dividers can be adjusted or removed to find the best setup for your gear
Hinged front panel allows easy access to your laptop or tablet without opening the entire bag
Dual zippered mesh pockets for keeping small accessories such as cables, batteries, and memory cards
Lightweight telescoping handle made of aluminum, center button allows you to set it to 3 different stages
4 wheels with 360° rotation for easy and intuitive transport
Integrated handles on the top, side, and bottom of the case for carrying by hand
Exterior dimensions of 13.8 x 8.8 x 21.7" meet carry-on requirements for most airlines
Undoubtedly one of the hottest topics at NAB2018, Blackmagic Design has finally released a new version of the Pocket Cinema Camera. It's a significant size different when compared to to the original, but it solves many of the issues of the previous design. The body now offers external buttons and dials that give you fast access to the most important functions. 13 stops of Dynamic Range and better low light performance with it's dual native ISO up to 25,600. 4K up to 60 frames RAW, and 120fps in HD (windowed).
Images capture on the new Pocket Cinema 4K camera can be recorded to SDXC, CFast 2.0, or for longer recording times, you can also record directly to an external SSD or flash disk using the built in USB-C Expansion Port. 5 inch touchscreen makes it easy to frame shots, focus accurately and change camera settings. Built-in microphones, mini XLR input with Phantom Power, full sized HDMI, 3D LUT support. BTW, not only can you install a LUT for monitoring, but you have the option to 'bake in' a LUT during your recording.
Although i'm not a fan that they chose to use a Canon LP-E6 battery, the USB-C Expansion Port accepts power so you can charge the battery from portable battery packs, a mobile phone charger or even your laptop computer. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K includes a full version of DaVinci Resolve Studio ($299 value), which is a complete post production solution.
Here's a general overview of the new CAME-TV Crystal 800 Wireless Video Kit. Besides being rated for up to 800 meters, the stand out feature for this kit is that you can also use an iOS device such as an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad as a wireless video monitor displaying the feed from a remote camera.
While the long range and ability to monitor through an iOS device are appealing, the Crystal-800 is not meant to replace higher end units if you want to record high quality from the video stream. While the transmitted image comes in clear and sharp, it does not appear to be uncompressed. Also i've noticed that certain framerates (i.e. 24p) that are input into the transmitter seem to end up as 30fps on the HDMI output of the receiver. You can also enable Audio to be be transmitted, but keep in mind that it is compressed audio but should be good enough for basic monitoring.
If your main goal is simply to send video from a remote camera to a director's monitor, I think the Crystal-800 is an excellent system. You don't even need to build out an lcd monitor with a cage. You can simply have the client monitor from an iPhone or iPad.
For a monitor, I've chosen the BlackMagic Design Video Assist 5" LCD which also doubles as a ProRes Video Recorder. It's small, and I can simultaneously record RAW in camera while recording Prores to the BMVA. This is handy if you want a backup recording, or if you want to record proxy files in real time.
But adding a full frame Canon EF mount lens ends up being too big for the body, and so you'll need to add some height at the base of the camera. For this i've mounted the cage to a quick release baseplate with 15mm rails. This baseplate works with popular Manfrotto 501PL plates. So I can quickly detach the whole cage from the base if needed and go right to a monopod with a smaller setup, or with the 15mm rails I can add things like a Kamerar Follow Focus or MatteBox.
Just to make it easier for handheld work, i've run a single 15mm Rail horizontally over the cage. On the right side i've added a 15mm Handle, and on the left side of the rail i've mounted the Video Assist Monitor using 15mm Pico Plates in such a way that makes it easy to tilt forward and back. That's pretty much the basic setup, if you guys have any questions let me know.
My favorite shotgun microphone at the moment is the Azden SGM-250CX. It's a short shotgun mic with great sound, comes with it's own shock mount, an XLR Lead built in, and has a 1/4" thread for easy mounting. But because i've also been using it to boom outdoors, I wanted to build out a small Blimp (it's been very windy lately). So I decided to buy the Rycote Super-Shield Kit and purchased an extra small pod to get it exactly the way I wanted.
It's certainly an investment to ensure you're getting better audio, but all it takes is one bad interview to ruin the quality of your work, and possibly your reputation for hire if you screw up an important job. Soif you think you're getting to that level of production, but want to keep your gear small, I think this setup is a great addition that should last for many many years.
As Sling Studio continues to roll out updates, the Sling Studio system is becoming more and more popular. Not to mention the popularity for Live Production and Live Streaming with multiple camera angles services are also growing in demand.
Sling Studio has just about the basic needs for small businesses looking to step into Live Streaming, and it solves many of the issues such as running cables, or having to use expensive cameras. You could literally use high quality iPhones or Android phones. If you're already an experienced video shooter, and looking to expand your services (for some extra cash), you could now affordably offer Multi-camera Live production / streaming with the Sling Studio system.
While I find the build quality, overall output, and Color Rendering excellent at this price point, there are a few 'quirks' one should know about the GVM 520 and GVM 672 LED Light panels. I've mentioned a few of them through my video review, but the stand out 'quirk' for me would be the lack of a battery meter advising you about how much time you have left. I feel this is one of the most important features any battery operated light should have (even if it's just an approximation). The last thing you want to worry about is having a light suddenly power off in the middle of an interview.
Second, it's nice that they offer built in wireless to control other GVM lights, it is limiting. Every light will have the exact same brightness and color temp setting. I see these lights being used on location as a small 3 piece kit, in which a majority of the time each light will have different brightness settings. If they were to introduce a handheld remote, then I feel the wireless controls would be much more appealing.
For 520 and 672 LEDs in a small panel, these will work best for talking head shots or maybe when working with products. They are probably not best suited for lighting large spaces. Overall I think the light offers excellent color reproduction for it's price. The phrase 'Bang for the buck' comes to mind when working with these lights.