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
From what i’m hearing there are many people out there using this portable video slider. In this video, i’m sharing a little tip on how i’ve personalized the Cinevate Duzi Carbon Video Slider by adding rubber o-rings.
The Cinevate Duzi slider is near silent as it cruises along the carbon rails, but as it reaches the end, the wheels touch the end blocks. By adding simple rubber o-rings, i’m able to get it right to the ends without making a sound. The o-rings also allow me to send end points along the slider if I need to ensure I stop at a certain point to get an object in sharp focus. Random yes, but hopefully it’s helpful to the many Duzi slider owners out there.
I’m not sure how many people have looked into one of Canon’s latest Prime Lenses with IS (yes image stabilization), but today this seems like quite the deal. MSRP on this 28mm F/2.8 IS lens is normally $550, with current instant rebates of $50 bucks drops it down to $499 – but wait there’s more!
Proceed to the Checkout at Adorama, and this lens drops all the way down to just $349 today (you have to proceed to the checkout to see the number change). [Update] FYI, you may have trouble seeing this deal on a mobile device so make sure you’re behind a desktop/laptop. I’ve never tried this lens, but I’ll leave it up to you guys to decide, check it out (Click Here).
Canon 28mm F/2.8 Prime Lens with Image Stabilization
Here’s an overview of the Aputure V-Converter Extra Scope product that takes an HDMI input and outputs a variety of overlays to any HDMI monitor, display, or television.
When the Aputure V-Converter product was first announced, the specs listed it would take a 1080p input, but only output a 720p signal. A recent firmware upgrade now allows the unit to output to full 1080p. I’m sure all the new products shipped will have this update, but if you need to download it, check the Aputure website (here).
The V-Converter can be powered from a Built-in lithium battery, but it’s not a product I think fits the run-gun type shooter. With a $340+ price tag, mobile shooters may want to just look into a portable LCD monitor with these features already built in.
Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope Pro Overlays
In my opinion, the V-Converter is a product that will mainly appeal to those who will be working on set, in a studio type environment, or on location that requires a large stationary monitor. It will be helpful in any setting in which you need to look across the room, check exposure, see if audio levels are peaking, and what’s currently in focus. It may be a product that compliments video shooters who have a workflow streaming Wireless HDMI Video (like with these Radian Pro Kits).
Considering how cheap large LCD HD televisions are these days, this little product can add-on big features normally only found on very very expensive studio monitors. You can find more info about the Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope (here).
Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope Pro Overlays
As amazing as this little camera is, it’s annoying that the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera requires extra juice just to make it run for more than 40 minutes. I tried the Switronix Pocketbase (seen here) which works, but I personally grew tired of the form factor, and how it blocks access to the SD Card (battery door) so I decided to DIY my own adapter.
The BMPC DC input uses a 12V power source, so i’ve decided to use a 12V battery plate that i’ve just added the proper 2.5mm OD x 0.7mm ID barrel adapter tip to. It’s hardly DIY since all you have to do is cut off the tip and replace it with the proper sized DC Plug.
These battery plates will take a certain battery and step the voltage up to 12V. I’ve even tested the guts against a Sony 7.4V battery, and it works great, but decided to go back to the original battery plate because of it’s slim profile. If you dig hard enough you can find many of these battery plates online dedicated for common Canon LP-E6, or Sony L Series / NP-F Type batteries.
You can see how handy it is to have a cage for mounting accessories on the BMPCC. I could either keep the battery off to the side, or relocate it to the rails with a clamp. There are many great cages on the market, but in the video i’m using the Shape Cage for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.
If you stuck with the Canon BP battery plate + Canon BP battery + DC Plug, I would say this entire DIY project will run $50 dollars or less and take you less than 5 minutes (yes that total cost even includes the battery). It’s much cheaper than other off the shelf products in retail stores right now to power the BMPCC, and I find it to be a clean and simple solution.
Here’s the 12V step up Battery Plate i’m using which takes the Canon BP batteries typically used in the older GL2 camcorders. Eventually i’ll track down a cheap Canon LP-E6 battery plate or Sony L Series plate and use these guts to step it up to 12V. Here’s my current parts list below if you want to tackle this for yourself.
If you’re looking to DIY your own power cable for the Pocket Cinema Camera, the specs for the power plug from BlackMagic Design are 2.5mm OD x 0.7mm ID which you can find on eBay. To keep things small (unlike my current adapter), I suggest going for the right angle tips (found here).
2.5mm OD X 0.7mm ID Male DC Plug
The VideoMic GO On-Camera Shotgun Microphone from Rode is a lightweight microphone which adds high-quality audio recording to your small camcorder and HDSLR camera. At only 2.6 ounces, the microphone keeps your camera setup lightweight, making it ideal for handheld shooting. It features an integrated Rycote Lyre shock mount for isolation from bumps and vibration, and offers battery-free operation, using instead the plug-in power from your camera’s 3.5mm microphone input.
The VideoMic GO is a directional microphone. It utilizes a super-cardioid polar pattern to attenuate sounds from the sides, resulting in a signal that sounds closer to the camera, even when shooting in noisy environments or at moderate distances. The integrated shoe mount provides a 3/8″ thread for additional mounting options. A foam windshield and 7.9″ dual mono 3.5mm coiled output cable.
Lightweight at Only 2.6 Ounces
Rycote Lyre Suspension System
Powered by 2.5V Camera Plug-in Power
Integrated Shoe Mount with 3/8″ Thread
3.5mm Mini-Jack Output
Foam Windshield Included
Reinforced ABS Construction
3.5mm Coiled Output Cable Included
Make those large LED Video Light Panels more portable by running them off of batteries. Here’s a random little video showing you how to power up those CN-600 / CN-900 LED Video Lights using the 14V Sony BP-U30/U60 batteries. It’s not the cheapest solution, but compared to other batteries available, it’s not too shabby.
This was the same battery adapter that I showed earlier which acts to power up your BlackMagic Cinema Camera. You can find the products below.
If you’re working (or planning to work) with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC you may quickly realize the LCD screen can be very difficult to work with outdoors. Other cameras may not be as bad, but can still use a little help blocking out ambient light.
One quick down and dirty way to block glare is to simply attach one of these inexpensive folding LCD Sunhoods. The design was originally used for flip out LCD screens on your Panasonic GH3, Canon 60D, T4i, C100, etc. The sunhood attaches via two simple straps stretch over your LCD (or BMPC camera body). It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s better than nothing. Starting at around $10 dollars, these sunhoods are available from 3″-4.5″, and if you’re specifically looking to use one with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you will need the 3.5″ size (found here).
3″ / 3.5″ / 4″ / 4.5″ LCD Sunhood
Your basic sunhood will assist with directional glare, but won’t completely block out all incoming light. It also will not serve as a second point of contact for added stability – what LCD ViewFinders are popular for. There are literally dozens of great LCD Viewfinder products on the market, many that you’ve already seen through this blog so I won’t go too much into detail here. If you have a specific camera in question, just leave me a comment.
Another option available now are EVFs (electronic view finders). The benefits to working with an EVF outside of blocking bright light, is that screen can be relocated to a more ergonomic position on a Shoulder Rig, or can articulate to offer better shooting angles when mounted on a Cage system for example. Depending on the EVF, many can also offer additional overlays such as Focus Peaking, False Color, Zebras, and other waveforms to help you with focusing and judging exposure.
SmallHD DP4 EVF
If you’re looking for uber budget, you’ve probably heard about the most affordable Seetec (a.k.a Feelworld) 3.5″ HDMI EVF starting at just $250 (found here). Now before you decide to dive in to this unit, there’s a few things you need to know. This lower end EVF CANNOT DISPLAY THE SIGNAL from a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC due to it’s uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 HDMI output.
The more affordable EVF systems are typically just HDMI, so this same information will apply to the larger BlackMagic Cinema Camera #BMCC. If you purchase an SDI to HDMI converter, you can use many of the more affordable HDMI EVFs, but not the Seetec version. In fact one person complained about how a cheap SDI to HDMI converter did not work with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera, but didn’t realize it was really his monitor that didn’t work. He didn’t rule out the monitor because it worked with other cameras. In summary the SDI to HDMI converter was working properly, but the HDMI monitor they chose did not work with the feed.
Hopefully this bit of information will save you guys the pain of making a purchase only to find out it doesn’t work. If you want an EVF for the BMPC, you’ll need to at least look at the other high end displays. As far as a cheaper EVF for other cameras, YouTube member Shawn Barner provides a nice 26 minute detailed run through of this Seetec product.
For other mirror-less and DSLR cameras like the Canon, Nikon, Panasonic GH3, Sony, etc, the Seetec can really help if you’re on a budget. Over the last year, several people have been using this EVF successfully. While not quite at the level of the more professional EVF systems, this EVF is still a great start for those who need a small lightweight portable screen to shade from the bright glaring sun, and to relocate a video feed to a more ergonomic placement on a shoulder rig. Available via eBay around $250 US (click here).