Monthly Archives: August 2015


I'm sure some of you have already read the reviews, and i'm still working on a short review myself on the Sony A7rII but I can tell you right now this camera is worth every penny. It's been tough to find and out of stock, but today it's available via B&H (click here).

I had the opportunity to shoot with the Sony A7RII this weekend, and really put it through a full day of shooting. The 4K video will shut down if you push the recording times past 15 minutes, and then if you keep pushing, the time before it shuts down again gets shorter and shorter.

I was very worried about this, but I really wanted to see how it could hold up and volunteered to shoot a full wedding. As much as possible I left it on the 4K video setting. For most clips I shot no longer than 5-7 minutes, and it worked perfectly all day. Working off a V-Mount battery, I even left the camera running without powering it down most of the day. There were only a few times I switched to 60p for slo-motion, but other than that it was 4K all day.

I used the same Metabones adapter I typically use on my Sony A7s, and even that had absolutely no hiccups with the Canon 24-70mm, 24-105mm, and 70-200mm. I know a lot of people are waiting for the new A7s II, but after a full day shooting I wouldn't hesitate to sell off my Canon 5DM3 and Sony A7s camera for one of these right now.

The new A7rII is priced higher than an A7s, but there are so many features that make it worth it. First if you want dynamic range, it seems to better than the A7s. If you like shooting with SLOG (especially during the bright day), the A7rII minimum ISO is only 800 while the A7s is at an unmanageable 3200.

The A7RII has IBIS (in body image stabilization) and I no longer have to pick and choose lenses with Image Stabilization. I feel confident throwing anything on and handholding the camera or using a small shoulder rig. The new Sony A7rII also shoots 4K internal to SDXC cards, while the A7s requires you to output via HDMI to an expensive 4K Recorder.

Build quality on the A7RII is also way better than an A7s with a larger hand grip and a very solid hot shoe. The lens mount is also much more solid than on the A7s (no wobble). Don't get me wrong. It's not perfect and still has issues like a very short battery life, but for a Sony mirrorless hybrid in this class, it's the best Sony has ever put out.

Today the Sony A7R II is currently in stock at B&H (click here)
find-price-button Sony A7R II 42MP Camera 4K Recording 5-Axis IBIS


As much as I love Canon EF photo lenses, it bugs me that every time I change to a different lens, the focus throw and feel is different. Some lenses focus very smooth, some too smooth, and some not so smooth. The size of the lens is always different which throws off my Rig configuration if i'm using a Follow Focus, Lens Support, or Mattebox. Focus throw also varies from maybe an inch from Point A to B, to a few inches - depending on the lens. They are Photography lenses after all, not video lenses. Those problems are all solved when you move to a decent set of Cinema Lenses, but for many price has always been a huge deterrent.

Recently Rokinon has introduced a new line of XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses. These aren't just rehoused photo lenses like the line of Rokinon DS. These lenses now feature an 11 blade iris (as opposed to just 8 on Rokinon photo lenses) and with new coatings. The look will be different than from a standard set of Rokinon DS Lenses.

The size of the Rokinon XEEN lenses (length) are consistent with each other, and all sport a 114mm front diameter. You won't have to swap donuts on a mattebox, nor adjust the height of your Mattebox to center the lens. It's going to remain consistent as you swap lenses.

The lens focus gears and iris gears are all equal distance from the lens mount, so anytime you have to switch lenses, every bit of your rig can remain the same. Your follow focus will lock in place perfectly each time you swap lenses. This is especially handy when working with wireless follow focus systems that can be a pain to reconfigure. Focus throw is a nice smooth 200 degrees as opposed to very short and inconsistent focus throws on varying Canon EF photo lenses. With a set of Rokinon XEEN lenses you'll have a very consistent feel and with practice should make you faster to hit your marks.

Rokinon Xeen Cinema Lenses Prime
find-price-button Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses 24mm T1.5 | 50mm T1.5 | 85mm T1.5

Prior to the new XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses, your options for somewhat affordable has been Canon's CN-E Lenses, Schneider Xenon, and the Zeiss CP.2. Each of those lenses can easily run about $4,000 US or more. The new Rokinon XEEN Cinema Primes run just under $2500. That's a huge difference, and when you start to add up a simple 3 piece set that's a lot of spare cash.

find-price-button Canon CN-E Cinema Prime Lenses

Schneider XENON Cinema Prime Lenses
find-price-button Schneider XENON Cinema Prime Lenses

zeiss cp2 cinema prime lenses
find-price-button Zeiss CP.2 Cinema Prime Lenses

Even though they may not be up to the standards of higher end Cinema Prime Lenses, the quality, price, and convenience these new XEEN lenses offer is very compelling. I own the Canon 85mm F/1.2L II which can run close to $2,000. The XEEN 85 T1/.5 runs for $2500 (not a huge price difference), and for me personally seems like I could benefit more from the XEEN for video use.

Currently they have a 24mmT1.5, 50mm T1.5, and 85mm T1.5 in the lineup but it's said they will release more. A solid 35mm and 100mm should really make a complete set of Cinema Primes. And because these can cover a full frame camera, if you opt for say a Canon EF Mount, they can easily be adapted to other bodies (MFT, Sony, etc). I'm pretty eager to try these out, and wondering if anyone else out there might be just as excited?

Rokinon XEEN Product Description

Rokinon's Xeen is built specifically for use as a cinema lens. It features an internal focus design so that the lens does not change size while focusing, this minimizes the appearance of breathing when changing focus. Each lens in the set is multi-coated for good contrast, glare prevention, and are color matched to a factory standard, allowing you to assemble a set over time with minimal color shift. This 24mm lens provides what is considered a wide angle of view on full-frame cameras, and a tighter angle of view on smaller formats.

The lens features dual sided focus scales marked in feet, with dual sided iris scales. The 11-bladed iris provides a rounded aperture for a natural looking highlights and Bokeh. The lens is a manual focus and iris lens, and does not have auto focus or auto iris capability. It incorporates cinema-style focus and iris gears that share the same position across the lenses in the Xeen set. The common 114mm front diameter allows for quick lens changes when using a matte box and focus accessories. The focus ring rotates 200° from close focus to infinity; this gives you a high degree of precision when adjusting focus. The new Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses mounts are available in Canon EF, MFT, Nikon, PL, and Sony FE.

The lens features metal construction to withstand the rigors of daily production, and it incorporates a support that can help take strain off your camera's lens port. Dual right and left side focus and T-stop scales allow your focus puller to work from either side of the lens, without having to flip the lens in the mount, or facing upside numerals. Each lens in the XEEN series share common focus and iris gear ring positions, which speeds up lens changes as accessories such as follow focus units or iris motors don't have to be re-positioned. The common 114mm front diameter allows for quick lens changes as you don't have to swap out anti-reflection donuts or adapters to use the same matte box. The non-rotating front allows you to use optional clip-on matte boxes. "Clickless" aperture ring for smooth iris pulls.

Rokinon Samyang Xeen 24mm Cine LensRokinon Samyang Xeen 50mm Cine LensRokinon Samyang Xeen 85mm Cine Lens
find-price-button Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses 24mm T1.5 | 50mm T1.5 | 85mm T1.5

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Over the past few years there's been a huge variety of Portable Jib (video crane) products. If you're a traveler who needs a lightweight system, then you'll be looking towards one of the carbon fiber models. But instead of just opting in for a simple video jib, the DigiSlider Motorized Portable Carbon Fiber Mini Jib gives users an option for advanced motorized control.

Here's a little video clip that goes over some of the features of the DigiSlider Motorized Portable Carbon Fiber Mini Jib.

With a motor attached, you can perform real time motion for very smooth and consistent speeds, or set the system to move in increments for advanced Timelapse. The motorized option is so fast and easy to install you can switch between manual control and motorized control in just seconds.

digislider motorized jib
Digislider Motorized Portable Carbon Fiber Mini Jib

So if you're in the market for a portable jib, the DigiSlider Motorized Mini Jib might be good option to consider. It's lightweight solid build offers smooth moves, but the design also gives you the option of upgrading to motorized control for more advanced motion control. If you're ready for the motorized option, they are available in a few different packages including a 2-Axis Motorized Kit option. For more information about these products, visit (here).

Digislider-carbon-jib-crane-tilt-SMS-time-lapse_grande Digislider-carbon-jib-crane-tilt-MX3-video-time-lapse_grande Digislider-carbon-jib-crane-2-axis-pan-tilt-MX3_grande
Learn-More-sm DigiSlider Motorized Portable Carbon Fiber Mini Jibs

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The Sony A7R II is definitely creating a lot of hype and while there may be a few quirks, it's packed with features and quality. While it's been out of stock at major stores, you can find them trickling in at smaller retailers.

Here's a new Sony A7R II eBay listing that just popped up today for USA buyers (for normal MSRP). Only 2 available 1 left, and i'm guessing they will be gone before the week ends. (click here).

Sony A7R II Body USA Ship Warranty
find-price-button Sony A7R II Full Frame Mirrorless Camera BodySony A7r II


shape atomos shogun cage

Earlier this year at the NAB 2015 show in Las Vegas, SHAPE showed off a new cage system designed for the Atomos Shogun 4K Recorder / Monitor. The main cage offers several threaded mounts and important HDMI locks, and can be expanded with additional accessories such as Shape's patented Quick Adjustment Push Button Handles, Unique Monitor Mount, 15mm Offset, and Sunhood. Here's a little overview video I put together about some of these features.

If you're planning to use your Atomos Shogun to it's full potential, and want to expand outside of a basic cage, then SHAPE's clever additions will be helpful to that workflow. You can find more information about the SHAPE Cage and expansion accessories for the Atomos Shogun over at (click here).


find-price-button SHAPE CAGE & Accessories for ATOMOS SHOGUN


If you're shooting with action cameras, especially the GoPro HERO then you should take a look at these quick and easy FCPX plugins. They can correct the distortion from ultra wide views, and straighten up the horizon. It's not just for small action cameras, as I use the De-Fish plugin religiously whenever I'm shooting 4K with my Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye lens on the GH4.

I highly recommend this set of plugins to speed up your workflow when working to de-fish fisheye lenses, or to remove that unwanted distortion from many of the Action cameras. I use my GoPro quite a bit on little gimbal stabilizers, and this is the best and fastest way to de-fish those images. Even faster than GoPro's Cineform software. Simply drag the plugin on to your video clip, and adjust your settings with sliders. Incredibly simple and fast and you can see the results immediately.

fcpeffects action cam gopro plugin
Action Cam Essentials is a powerful and vital plugin for anyone editing with action camera footage in Final Cut Pro X.

Features included with Action Cam Essentials:
Fisheye Removal: both automatic and manual modes for precise adjustment and removal of fisheye distortion caused by any wide angle lens.
Dynamic Stretching: stretch 4x3 aspect ratio footage to fit a 16x9 project without distorting your subject. This allows you to shoot using your camera's entire sensor and capture the maximum field of view (FOV) vertically and horizontally.
Color Grading Presets: over 20 professional color grading presets designed for use with the most popular brands of action cameras.
Letterboxing: achieve the widescreen look and reframe your shots by quickly and easily adding letterbox bars to your videos.
Title Layer Plugin: the plugin has been created in Final Cut Pro's title template framework to allow it to be easily applied to multiple clips at once.

Learn-More-sm Action Cam Essentials Plugin for FCPX


Here's a neat little product that was sent over by The Volta iPhone Case has a built in battery that can charge your iPhone and also doubles as an LED Ring light.

Perfect for those who like to take close-up images, or food bloggers, but also very handy when removed from your iPhone and used as an off-camera light. The ladies (and i'm sure some guys) will certainly enjoy that beauty ring light for selfie portraits.

There aren't too many iPhone cases that grab attention, but the Volta LED Ring Light Battery Charger certainly is a great eye-catching product sure to stir up conversation. Available now for iPhone 6 and soon iPhone 6 Plus, you can find more information about the Volta iPhone 6 case at (here).



So you've got the brand new fancy Sony DMC-RX10 MarkII capable of 4K internal video, SLOG profiles, and high frame rates. How do you step it up a bit? Well how about throwing on the SLR Magic Anamorphot Lens Adapter for some Anamorphic fun?

I've had this adapter laying around for quite some time, but even with it's built in diopter it was tricky to use with the GH4. Finding the right combination of lenses and pulling focus made it just too cumbersome and slow to use. But with the Sony RX10 Mark II, the SLR Magic Anamorphot Lens Adapter just works fairly seamlessly. Pulling focus is done by just using the manual focus ring around the RX10 built-in Lens.

Here's a few more random examples of the SLR Magic Anamorphic Lens Adapter mounted to the Sony RX10 MarkII shot in my backyard at 1080p at 120fps.

My earlier tests at mainly F/4 were still a bit soft, but I know the camera and lens combination is capable of better. So I decided to go back out and stop down the aperture to F/5 - F/5.6. I also changed to the 4K resolution. Here's an example of the Sony RX10 Mark II with the SLR Magic 1.33x Anamorphot Lens Adapter shooting in SLOG, De-Squeezing the video, and then adding a generic LUT. Still nothing interesting to shoot, but I think the images are sharper so I'll know what settings to use when i'm ready for a project.

While this may not be the best Anamorphic setup, it's certainly affordable and offers great results with minimal effort. This combination would be a good start for those who want to start experimenting with anamorphic, and remember the RX10 MKII is capable of shooting in 4K.

Keep in mind that my adapter is the older 1.33x anamorphic, but SLR Magic has recently released a 2x Anamorphic Adapter which will give you even greater Anamorphic perspective and qualities. The Sony RX10 Mark II is the easiest camera I have used with this adapter, and that 2x is certainly next on my list.

slrmagic anamorphic slr magic anamorphot
find-price-button SLR Magic Anamorphot Anamorphic Lens Adapter

sony rx10 mark II
find-price-button Sony RX10 Mark 2 28-200mm F/2.8 Zoom 4K Video HFR Slow Motion


The CAME-TV CAME-SINGLE Gimbal has hard limits built into the frame to prevent a full 180 rotation. This design protects the wires from tangling up. Most Alexmos gimbals can easily be inverted but typically the camera itself has to remain 'right-side up'. Gimbals like the DJI Ronin or Ronin-M when used in inverted mode actually flip the camera upside down. So in post editing you have to flip your video. After hammering through the software a bit, I managed to find a way to keep the camera fully inverted so I guess it is possible.

A video posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on

At this time I DO NOT SUGGEST attempting to tweak your CAME-SINGLE settings. If you screw up your configuration, it can be a very lengthy process to restore your system due to the new 'encoders' tab. Downloading profiles from the Internet will not guarantee that your system will be restored as 'Encoders' are calibrated individually (per gimbal). Until I find the time to create some type of tutorial on tweaking PID settings, I suggest you keep the default settings as much as possible.

find-price-button CAME-TV CAME-SINGLE 32 Bit Gimbal with Encoders