Just arrived in the mail! My new Panasonic DMC-G7 4K Camera + FREE SHIPPING + FREE Audio Technica AT8024 Shotgun Mic (a $249.00 Value!). This is one of the most affordable 4K internal Video recording cameras available, especially if you're looking for an ILC (interchangeable lens camera). The kit comes standard with a lens so you're ready to shoot out of the box. Total hookup in my eyes., limited time (found here).
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to test drive the Varavon Wirecam. The Wirecam is a Cable Cam system that flies a camera over a rope tied between two points. Although the affordability and use of drones are increasing for aerial imaging, there are still many instances in which a Drone would either not work, would be illegal, unsafe, or would be just a noisy nuisance.
Unlike most Drones that could only fly for about 20 minutes, the Varavon Wirecam could go for hours at a time. Not to mention if you wanted to fly a larger camera than just a GoPro, you'd need a fairly large Drone. In our example we were able to fly a DJI Ronin-M + GH4 + 12mm Rokinon Lens + Radian Wireless Video System. Now that we've made our point that Drones can't solve everything, here's a quick montage video (below) of us setting up and operating the system.
Operating the Varavon Wirecam was extremely simple to operate as it only moves either left or right and the entire system weighs only about 7lbs (without camera). Of course this is not a tool you should show up with without some type of practice setting it up. You'll want to get a few hours in getting familiar with tying down the line, mounting your camera system, and any other accessories.
Setting up Varavon Wirecam Cable-Cam System
The most difficult part about working with the system is finding a good place to attach the rope. Our warehouse project had plently of steel beams, but out in an open area is where you'll need to be creative. When attaching the Rope, you should brush up on your knot tying skills, carry a set of ratcheting tie downs, and I highly suggest using a Manual Come-Along to pull the braided rope tight. These will make life much easier, and you'll find that with a brand new braided rope, the braids will tighten and eventually produce enough slack that you would have to re-adjust 2-3 times before it starts settling in.
You can mount a camera directly under the Wirecam, but a gimbal will help to stabilize the horizon. And If you're using a gimbal like the DJI Ronin-M that comes with a remote, you'll also be able to control Pan + Tilt as the Wirecam flies.
Of course in order to frame a shot, you'll want to stream the video feed back from the camera. In our setup, we used the Camera Motion Research Radian Pro System. So as one operator controlled the Wirecam, a second operator controlled Pan + Tilt on the DJI Ronin-M Gimbal, and both operators shared a monitor.
The Varavon Wirecam is a great option for high flying aerials when a drone system just won't cut it. I could see this cable-cam system being used heavily in sports on the sidelines of a field, lap pool, motocross track, or other events in which the camera needs to constantly repeat a forward / back or left /right tracking shot.
For more information about the Varavon Wirecam vist the product pages at http://varavon.com/products/wirecam.
CAME-TV is probably best known for offering affordable gimbal systems, but they sell just about anything from LED Lights, to Video Rig accessories. A short while ago, I shared a video about a CAME-TV Cage for the Sony A7s, and to follow up i'm giving an overview of three other CAME-TV cages for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, Panasonic GH4, and Canon DSLR.
Towards the end, there's a look at the CAMETV 15mm Rails, Shoulder Pad, Front Handles, Follow Focus, Lens Support, MatteBox, and V-Mount Power Adapter.
With the exception of the large Canon DSLR Cage, the other cages for the A7s, GH4, and BMPCC are custom 'form fitted'. This means there is very little size difference from the camera body itself making it easy to pack away.
Once you have your camera in these form-fitted cages, there's no reason you'll ever need to take them out. Removing the top handle and 15mm base adapter is a quick knob (no tools). You can add a QR plate directly to the cage without the base adapter if you want to run minimally.
Each cage also comes with an HDMI pinch, which is one of the most important tools to have if using an external HDMI monitor. It will prevent accidental disconnections and may even save your camera's HDMI port from possible damage.
Below are a few direct links to some of the products shown in the video (above). These are just a few bits of equipment that is offered, but besides the CAME-TV branded equipment, you'll also find other familiar top brand names such as Tilta, F&V, MOVCAM, LanParte, and more found at http://CAME-TV.com
One of the most popular Gimbal Stabilizers announced at NAB 2015 was the smaller DJI Ronin-M. Though the system is about half the size of the original Ronin, there are still quite a bit of accessories that you need to travel with, so many owners will want a solid case.
Unlike the original Ronin, the Ronin-M does not come standard with it's own case and despite the excellent build quality, there are many fragile parts to the Ronin-M including exposed wires and a fragile remote that you want to transport in a hard case (not soft).
So here's one Hard Case we opted to use for our DJI Ronin-M kit, as it meets carry-on size requirements when flying, and is custom designed to neatly carry every single part including a spare battery.
Of course if you want to save some cash, and want to try and modify one for yourself, you can always start with just the basic Pelican iM2600 case with Foam (found here).
Adorama has just announced that they are already shipping the new Panasonic DMC-G7. This is a great camera for those looking to dive into 4K Video on a budget as it shares many similarities from the more expensive GH4, or as an excellent B-Cam if you're already working with the GH4. If you're working with Canon lenses, you can still grab the Metabones XL Speed Booster EF to MFT Adapter which will offer more advantages in low lighting and wider FOV.
If you order from Adorama right now, they are even throwing in an Audio-Technica AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Microphone FREE + FREE Expedited Shipping too. This should be a very popular camera, and you can find out more specs (here).
Here's a new kit put together by ServoCity.com, that allows you to make a gear driven pan system.
This little DIY Kit could be a solid foundation for making your own variable speed rotating product table, or for 360 degree time lapse with your camera. Unlike the small egg-timers, this of course can support much much more weight for those larger DSLR sized cameras.
For more info on the Gear Driven Pan System, visit ServoCity.com.
I recently posted on my Instagram about using the Cinerails Dolly System for an interview, just so we could add a bit of movement for a B-Roll camera angle. It's a very simple way to add smooth camera movement to what would normally be a static shot. The kit was sent to me by the Cinerails company, and after using it a few times, I strongly believe it's going to be a steady part of the equipment we use in our future projects.
If you're not familiar with the Cinerails Dolly System, it's a Tripod Dolly System that can be used as a straight or curved track and is completed by adding common 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC pipes found at just about any hardware store.
The benefit to working with this system is that you can always travel (example: flying out of state) with the Cinerails System and pick up PVC pipes at your destination. By my house I purchased 10ft PVC pipes for about $3 dollars each. I cut them down to 9 ft, so I can fit them in my tiny Honda Fit. Check out the overview video below about the kit.
What you get is 7 Cinerails (to connect to PVC), a Cinerails Tripod Track Dolly (with casters), and a Draw Cord (used to create an arc). Using a curved track will maintain your subject in frame without having to pan the camera, and creates that highly desired parallax effect. The system is dead quiet so you don't have to worry about any sounds interfering with your audio during interviews. While I think our shot came out great, we could have improved it using a few tips from this recent Filmmaking Tip video - via Cinerails.
The entire system weighs practically nothing, is easy to setup, and will add high production value to your projects. Now if you already have a Tripod Track Dolly, the set of (7) Cinerails will only run you less than $60 dollars.
For more information about Cinerails, visit their website (Click Here).
A few months ago CAME-TV designed the CAME-MINI 3-Axis gimbal, which was a great compact Alexmos based stabilizer but was a bit tedious if you had to rebalance for different setups.
Recently they've released an upgraded version of this Mini Gimbal that now includes a quick release system (to dismount your camera), an easily removable top handle, and tool-less adjustments on the Pitch, Roll, and Yaw. Here's a thorough overview video of the new CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 Gimbal.
The new CAME-MINI2 is still offered with a support frame that runs across the front of the camera, but I personally don't know if this is totally necessary. By removing the frame, I think you'll find the system easier to balance if you are using small lenses. If you are using a GH4 + 12-35mm, the front frame can remain on the system without interfering.
Many will try to compare this new MINI2 to the DJI Ronin-M Gimbal. Don't get me wrong, the Ronin-M is a great gimbal, and people should consider purchasing one if you have a decent sized camera setup, but it's still bigger and heavier than the MINI2.
(LEFT) DJI RONIN-M Gimbal (RIGHT) CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 Gimbal
For reference the original DJI Ronin was more than twice the size and more than twice the weight of the CAMETV 7800, which makes the new DJI Ronin-M about the same size as the CAMETV 7800. So referencing the beginning of the video, you could see how the new CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 would still be about half the size of Ronin-M, making it still easier to pack and travel with or a great option with those who have extremely small setups (LX100, RX10, RX100, etc).
Keep in mind that the CAME-MINI2 is still using the same BasecamElectronics control board, and SBGC Software for tuning. The same equipment many other gimbals on the market are using. What is provided to you is most likely a generic profile that should accommodate most small camera setups (and it seems to work very well). Of course if you really want the best results, or if you want to be proficient at troubleshooting these systems, you should really take the time to learn and understand the tuning process.
Looking to pick up a DJI Phantom 3 4K Quadcopter? There's a few things you'll want with your kit. Obviously a spare battery for longer flight times, and a way to transport the whole system. Well DJI just added this kit as an option on their website, so one purchase you get everything you need for a perfect starter kit.
This is definitely the kit i'll be picking up in the next few weeks, as i'm looking for a smaller quad to travel with over my Inspire1. I can totally wear this backpack as I ride around the city on my electric skateboard.