FYI, if you’ve been thinking about grabbing a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera capable of shooting RAW video, today is the last day [march 6th] for this deal. B&H is throwing in the Sandisk Extreme Pro (required for RAW video), along with two spare EN-EL20 batteries (you’ll end up with a total of three) for FREE. Here’s a link to the deal (link).
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera Bundle + Sandisk + Batteries
In order to shoot with this camera, you will most likely be looking for a Cage/Rig system to mount additional accessories. Here’s a small list of BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera Cages which range from cage only, to full kits with Top handles, 15mm Rails, and HDMI pinch.
Punch in, set focus, change aperture, and start/stop video with your Canon DSLRs from a remote video handle. Here’s a look at the new Aputure VG-1 V-Grip USB Follow Focus Video Remote Handle.
For those unfamiliar, the Canon DSLRs can communicate certain camera settings through the USB port. USB remotes have been around for quite some time, but not many are designed in a comfortable handle-like form factor, and certainly none in this price range.
Aputure VG-1 V-Grip USB Remote Follow Focus Video Trigger mounted on 15mm Shoulder Rig
The Aputure VG-1 can control focus from an Auto Focus Canon EF lens (not manual lenses), and at times can appear smooth, but this will vary on different auto focus lenses. It uses a type of ’stepping’ to get from point A to point B. To help achieve a smoother transition, you can change the size of the steps within the VG-1 remote..
The VG-1 handle connects via USB, and for extended runs you can pick up an inexpensive USB cable with a repeater (like this). The ideal use of these remotes is when operating a camera from a distance, such as a 30 foot crane, or on a stabilizer where both hands are occupied (fig rig, 3 Axis Gimbals), or to replace one handle on your shoulder rig. Check out the product page for more information about the new Aputure VG-1 V-Grip USB Remote Handle (found here).
Aputure V-Grip VG-1 Remote USB Follow Focus Handle
There are times when you need to send video back to a monitor or switch, but because most DSLR and Mirrorless cameras only offer HDMI out, you are limited to how far you can position the camera. To exceed the limits of HDMI, this HDMI to SDI Converter will allow you to use SDI cables for longer distances.
Wireless HDMI systems, like the Radian Pro Kit from Camera Motion Research allow a camera operator to move freely, but they will still have limitations and can be prone to drop outs if the feed has to be sent through walls, the receiver is too far, or if there is interference. Running an SDI cable with the Wireless HDMI Receiver attached at the end can help you minimize the distance your between your wireless system while still having the entire camera system over 100 feet away.
So if you’re looking for a way to get your cameras moved further from where you need to send your feed, these HDMI to SDI (not SDI to HDMI) converters are probably the cheapest you can find. It does require power, or in my case, i’m using an adjustable voltage Tekkeon battery pack. I’ve also tested this converter with a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and it works if you’re looking to send a long video feed from that camera. Check it out via Amazon (click here).
HDMI to SDI Converter Supports 720P/1080P
Other Products You May Be Interested In
If you need a cheap SDI to HDMI converter, like when adding an inexpensive EVF to a BlackMagic Cinema Camera, here’s the one shown in the video.
USB Powered SDI to HDMI Converter
If you can afford to spend more on a product that converts an HDMI signal to SDI, can be powered for 11+ hours through a Canon LP-E6 battery, and also adds conversion, check out the more expensive Atomos H2S Converter (here).
Atomos H2S or S2H Connect Converter
Fotga recently opened up their product line to include a new S-450 Hand Held Stabilizer for under $150 dollars. Judging from what I can see in the photos, it’s probably comparable to the size of a Glidecam HD2000, so you’re looking at supporting cameras around 6-8 lbs max.
The new Fotga S-450 includes a top stage with fine tuning knobs (left / right / forward / back), and the baseplate includes a swing out set of legs to prevent the stabilizer from toppling over. A telescoping post means it can collapse to support small cameras, or telescope out for heavier setups.
Fotga S-450 Hand Held Video Stabilizer System
The system can be broken down into several pieces for easy travel, and the handle accept a vest (not sure which type). For more information and additional photos, check out the Fotga S-450 Hand Held stabilizer via eBay (found here)
Fotga S-450 Hand Held Video Stabilizer System
For all of you GoPro Hero camera fanatics, here’s a new modular GoPro Hero Camera mounting system from the team at Wide Open Camera and Snake River Prototyping. The design is simple, yet it allows mounting for all of the GoPro Hero Cameras, including current waterproof or skeleton housings available today. Watch the demo video by Jared Abrams (below)
If you want to save a few bucks, the modular system may be sold in pieces (baseplate / arms) once it’s listed at their website http://WideOpenCamera.com/Products. Additionally you can find the Wide Open Camera mount for All GoPro Cameras via Amazon (here)
Wide Open Camera mount for All GoPro Hero Cameras
I was just advised about NikonHacker.com, a forum for improving the qualities on limited Nikon DSLR cameras. I love the quality from Nikon, just couldn’t get past some of the limited video features compared to other affordable DSLRs/Mirrorless cameras. So i’m excited to see what new features they will be able to ‘unlock’ from possibly some of the more affordable Nikon cameras.
I’m not sure how many people remember the DSLR Video revolution, but much of it was circled around the release of the Canon 5D Mark II. What some may not remember was how limited the camera’s ‘manual’ functions were and how many people would come up with workarounds. No manual audio levels, no manual aperture settings, etc.
The Magic Lantern firmware hack to improve video qualities on the Canon DSLRs pushed the cameras further into the industry. Panasonic also received a big ‘push’ when the GH2 camera was hacked with higher video bitrates. With this website working to improve the quality of Nikon DSLRs, let’s see if Nikon will finally have a bigger ‘push’ into this industry as well. If you’re a Nikon shooter, check them out at NikonHacker.com.
If you’re a fan of Kata camera bags, then you might be interested in the 50% OFF Kata Minibee 110PL Camera Backpack sale. Here’s a few images of my own personal Kata Minibee Backpack to show some of it’s features.
It’s a great small backpack, very comfortable to wear all day, built to withstand abuse, and we use one during our travels. No worries about broken straps, broken zippers, rips or tears. Well padded with many quick access pockets, and still room to fit a laptop.
Kata bags aren’t cheap, and that’s a good reason to share this 50% off discount. More about the Kata Minibee 110 PL Camera BackPack at B&H (click here).
Kata Minibee 110 PL Camera Backpack
For those who have been eyeballing SmallHD’s latest AC-7 OLED Field Monitors, today you can save $300 OFF both the HDMI and SDI models. Jump over to the product page to see how the SmallHD AC7-OLED was used on set for the upcoming movie ‘Need for Speed’ with Shane Hurlbut (found here).
SmallHD AC7-OLED Field Monitor Sale
FYI, here’s a deal on that expires in the next two (2) days. The Rokinon 24mm T/1.5, 35mm T/1.5, and 85mm T/1.5 Cine lenses are bundled for an extra savings or $250 dollars. Available in Canon, Nikon, and Sony E/A mounts, but they can easily be adapted to fit M4/3 cameras as well. As far as Rokinon Cine Lenses go, these are probably the most popular and the deal ends March 2nd. Check it out via B&H (found here)
Rokinon Cine Lens Bundle Deal 24mm, 35mm, 85mm T/1.5
I was looking for a few more strong mini ball heads and just happened to run into these guys. From the photos they looked pretty high quality, and at less than $8 bucks a piece, worth a shot. Once they dropped in, I was pretty happy with the build on these things.
You probably saw me earlier mounting this to that CAME 2 Axis Gimbal under the MustHD Monitor. Very sturdy little ball heads and priced well against many of the other micro / mini ball heads. For under $8 dollars + free shipping, you can find the Osrso ball heads via eBay (click here).
Osrso Heavy Duty Inexpensive Mini Ball Heads
Other ball heads mentioned in the video
Manfrotto 492 Micro Ball
Giottos Mini Ball Head
Junior Joint Pro Mini Ball Head
If you’re thinking about taking your GoPro Hero cameras to the sky, consider the deals going on right now. From basic to more advanced Gimbal stabilized packages, B&H has setup a dedicated page offering sale prices on various DJI Phantom Quadcopter Kits (found here).
Edlekrone is stepping up their game with the new SliderPlus ‘PRO’. The new Pro version can carry up to 50% more, is compatible with Edelkrone’s latest motion control systems, and can be disassembled for servicing or repair.
For a complete look at Edelkrone products, check out the website at http://Edelkrone.com.
Edelkrone SliderPlus Pro
Kamerar has released a few GoPro accessories that allow you to get more creative with the Hero3/Hero3+ cameras. The new Kampro Handle Kit works with existing GoPro housings (waterproof / skeleton) comes with 1x Handle, 3x Thumb Screws, 2x Threaded Pivot Arm, 1x Pivot Arm, 1x Phone Mount, 1x Tripod Mount, and 1x Cold Shoe Mount. The Kampro Handle Kit can be found (here).
Kamerar KamPro Handle Kit for GoPro Hero Cameras
When you want to run the GoPro ‘naked’ (without the waterproof housing), Kamerar has released an affordable GoPro Cage. Made of precision CNC machined aircraft grade aluminum, the new Kampro offers a few cold shoe mounts (a feature not found on other GoPro cages) ready to accept microphones, led lights, or other accessories.
A single knob locks the GoPro Hero3/Hero3+ in place while still allowing full access to ports, buttons, lcd screen, MicroSD slot, and fast access for battery swaps. A lens cap fitted over a 37mm threaded filter mount is ready to accept your ND, CPL, or other popular filters. For more information on these products, check out the http://PNCGear.com website (click here).
Kamerar KamPro GoPro Cage with Cold Shoe & 1/4-20 threaded Taps
For those who are still shopping for a set of affordable LED video light panels, here is a closer look at the F&V K4000/ K4000s Bi-Color LED Studio Panel 3 Light Kit.
The K4000/K4000s LED Lights can be powered by V-mount battery, 3.5mm DC input, or by a more robust V-mount to AC wall adapter. The filters are offset to eliminate multi-shadow effects typically found on panels that use multi-led bulb arrays. Sold separately these lights run up to $500/each, but as a 3 piece kit (which includes a travel case) these lights end up running as low as $330/each (found here). If you want to get a few more ideas on how professionals are using these lights, take a look at the F&V Video Gallery page (found here).
K4000 Single Color / K4000S Bi-Color LED Video Light Kits
Nikon has released the D4s, an upgraded version of their flagship D4 DSLR. The new Nikon D4s Digital SLR Camera sports a new 16.2-megapixel sensor, faster processor, and a faster autofocus system. The D4s claims to be even better in low-lighting than the D4 (which was already quite impressive). As a comparison the original D4 offered ISO settings of Lo1 (ISO 50) to Hi4 (ISO 204,800), while the new D4s offers Lo1 (ISO 50) to Hi4 (ISO 409,600).
The D4s improves only slightly faster with a burst rate of 11fps (as opposed to 10fps). For video shooters, the previous D4 offered 1080p Full HD video at 30/25 or 24p, while the new D4s camera now adds on 1080p Full HD video at 60fps. If i’m correct, the D4 also offered a clean HDMI signal that can be recorded from. Still, the price point of this camera may appeal more towards professional photographers over video shooters.
There’s more to the new D4s, and additional information about the new Nikon D4s DSLR Camera can be found via Adorama (click here).
Nikon D4s Digital SLR Camera
I’ve been researching various Light Meters capable of measuring LED or other artificial lights. We’re not talking about your basic exposure type light meter, we’re talking about ones that can read Spectrum, CRI, LUX, etc. In hand, they are simple tools to operate, but yet everything on the market is still quite expensive. I poked around for suggestions, and for under $2,000 bucks many kept referring me to the UPRtek MK350. Here’s a quick video showing the basic features of the UPRtek MK350 LED Spectrometer.
NOW ON TO THE GOOD STUFF
At CineGear, I was able to stop by one booth where Asensetek was showcasing their new Lighting Passport Spectrometer. (They were also showcasing this meter at NAB2013). Check out some of the features you can do with this Spectrometer.
Specifically designed to measure LED or Artificial lights, and supposedly with more accuracy than the MK350. I love the convenience of being able to separate the lumisphere and having controls via Bluetooth. This saves so much time going back and forth from the measuring point back to the lights, making adjustments, and then walking back again to take another measurement.
At the Asensetek booth, they had mentioned they have been working with light measuring tools for over 7 years, and claim to be the most accurate LED meter in the world. Big words, but all I really care about at this point is being more accurate than the MK350 (or equal). The UPRtek software and features really seem outdated when compared to the controls you have with the Asensetek iOS Genius application. With an iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod) you can even share the data instantly via email or upload them. Besides all the basic measuring scopes, you can even store pictures of your set so you know exactly how your lighting was set up in case you ever have to reshoot.
Here’s another video from their website showcasing the features of the Asensetek Lighting Passport
Being that the Asensetek is cheaper and offers a more full featured Spectrometer, this seems like a no brainer for me. The workflow with the Asensetek Lighting Passport with their Genius Software is just brilliant. I don’t know how many of you have a need for such a tool, but you can find more information about the Asensetek Lighting Passport, you can contact them at their website (found here), or contact their distributor website http://alliedscientificpro.com/.
Or message them via their Facebook page (here).
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