A basic overview of the Dynamic Perception 3-Axis Motion Control Bundle consisting of the Stage One Plus Motorized Slider, Sapphire Pro Motorized Pan / Tilt Head, and the NMX Motion Controller. This bundle allows you to program a full 3-Axis Motion Control system through a simple iOS App (NMX Motion), or you can even add-on an optional accessory to control the NMX Controller through a Playstation Remote.
Once you enter a few bits of information for a Timelapse setup, the NMX Motion App will automatically calculate how many images will be captured, how long the Timelapse will take, and how long your final timelapse video clip will be (based on project timeline FPS). I think the stand out feature for the Stage One Plus slider is the ability to combine rails (easily) for just about any length you can imagine. The Sapphire Pro Motorized Pan Tilt head is one of the smallest 2-Axis Motion control systems which can be beneficial when packing and traveling.
If you don't mind carrying a hex tool to loosen the rail clamps (tripod supports), you can break the entire system down to as little as 21" inches, which will allow you to fit it into common Carry-On Sized Luggage if you choose to fly or pack it into a smaller BackPack. If you want more information about Dynamic Perception equipment, check out the website at http://dynamicperception.com (link).
Here's a simple video rig for Smartphones that offers two Cold Shoe mounts and several 1/4" threaded mounts for attaching a variety of accessories. I was intrigued by this as I believe it could be an inexpensive way to build out a handheld rig with a small monitor for use as a director's monitor.
Especially if you consider how much the SmallHD 501 / 502 monitors look like iPhones, this rig could easily be modified. The two cold shoes could be a clean and simple way to mount up those wireless video receivers too.
Whenever possible, I find audio the best way to sync up multiple cameras. But there are times when audio is either not clear enough to sync, or perhaps the cameras you are using are shooting video coverage in different rooms. This is where Timecode comes in handy, and it's always a good idea to set this in your camera for a backup solution.
If you merely just laid video clips together on a timeline, you could not account for the period of time each of the cameras were shut off or not recording. When using Timecode to sync, you can at least have all of your video clips laid out in a linear fashion according to when each video clip was shot.
Here's a method on how you can get Timecode in sync with multiple Panasonic GH4 cameras. Using the Image App on your mobile device, you can click over on the GEOTagging option and sync the time of your GH4 to your mobile device. Then you can do the same on every camera.
Timecode set in this manner may not be frame accurate when creating your Multicam clips, but once it's all laid out, you can merely nudge your video clips around to get them synced up perfectly. If you have similar audio between all cameras, you could use the options for both Timecode and Audio sync and that should get you frame by frame accuracy. Just remember to set each camera's framerate exactly the same (i've made that mistake a few times...).
If you need to have frame by frame accuracy Timecode generated between cameras, you'll need to opt for a Timecode Generating device. Probably the most inexpensive one you can get today is the Tentacle Sync (found here).
These devices can really help save you a ton of time in post if you're doing long hours of footage and shooting with multiple cameras. But this investment in those same Timecode Generating devices can also be used on some inexpensive audio recorders (i.e. Zoom F4 / Zoom F8) so that you can also throw your recorded audio files into your Multicam Edit.
What is your typical Multi-camera Setup when recording a performance, recital, concert, etc? Well here's a quick look at my most basic gear for three static camera angles. I typically go with (3) Panasonic GH4 cameras as I love the super long battery life, and 4K video recording all day (deliver 1080 but flexible in post for faux zooms and crops).
If i'm doing a 3 camera angle shoot, I find it's easier to match footage when you have the exact same cameras (same color profile, set same exposure, etc).
I also make sure to add a good microphone to each camera as you need really good scratch audio to do a quick sync in post. As a backup I also run timecode on all cameras and match them as close possible for post sync. In the photo you'll see i'll use either a Rode VideoMic Pro or Azden SMX-30.
I also try to use Sandisk 128GB SDXC Cards so I don't have to swap cards during the event, and record each video clip as long as possible. I find it's easier to sync a few long clips in post than a hundred small clips. Once the clips are synced in post, it's easy to cut out all the dead time.
For audio, I make sure to bring a few portable audio recorders (like Zoom H1) and set them up close to Audio Speakers, but i'll bring a Multitrack recorder (like Zoom H6) to plug directly into the sound board. The Zoom H6 offers dual recording in case sound peaks, and worst case scenario I can sometimes grab audio from the cameras (since they are mic'd up).
I also break out my hands free wireless headsets for each camera operator to make sure everyone is on the same page. Good communication is key between multiple operators.
A small Dual Monitor setup I have for this weekend's 3 (static) multi-camera shoot. I wanted to be able to see what the other two cameras are shooting, so that I can communicate to them (over our wireless headsets) to make sure we are covering all our bases. Using the @aputurephoto #VS5 7" Monitor + @fvlight #MeticaFM7 7" Monitor, @cameramotionresearch #Amimon Wireless Video Kits #Connex #ConnexMini, sitting on #LibecTripod new #THX Tripod System.
Finally and totally optional, i've rigged up a dual monitor setup with Camera Motion Research Connex Wireless Video Kits. Super reliable and long range systems. So while i'm operating the main camera, I can get a feed from the two other camera angles and make sure I have a clear visual what everyone is covering. With our wireless headsets, I can direct the other two operators to make sure we cover the entire performance.
So that's a quick look at the core parts of how I tackle these quick Multi-camera angle shoots. Do you have any favorite pieces of gear of tips you'd like to share?
For the price and feature set, the Karma Grip is the best gimbal available today for the HERO5 camera. Although they don't advertise this, it looks well made to be dust and somewhat water (maybe a light drizzle) resistant. You can mount the entire gimbal using the adapter ring to any standard GoPro mount (helmet, chest, bike, etc.). If you need this to be lightweight, the top gimbal can be removed from the lower handle and powered up with the optional Karma Grip Extension cable.
Once the HERO5 is docked into the Karma Grip, it will keep your GOPro charged. You recharge the Karma Grip by plugging it into the USB port under the handle. You can also connect to the Karma Grip's USB charge port (under handle) to download your GoPro footage, so you don't need to pull your SD Card out (but you need to download the GoPro Quik software to import). The Karma Grip compatibility with the GoPro HERO5 camera along with the price make this a must have accessory for HERO5 owners.
ND Filters are a must have for any DJI drone allowing you to set proper shutter speed for just the right amount of motion blur between frames. Some filters will help you get better color, contrast, and saturation. PolarPro has made a set of ND Filters available for the DJI Mavic Pro starting at $49.99 for a 3 pc Kit, and $99 for a 6 pc Kit (found here).
There's no denying PolarPro makes awesome filters, and it's all about the quality of glass when you're trying to get the best image. But if the price of $49 and $99 is too steep for a Mavic Pro Drone, there are now filters showing up on eBay starting at $6 dollars for a 6 pc kit. I personally am willing to take a stab at the $6 dollar versions first and once they come in, i'll share some of those results. You can find a variety of Mavic Pro Filters popping up on eBay in the last few days (found here).
A short while back Amimon made available a Wireless HD Video Kit primarily targeted for Drone use called the Connex. The Connex kit could stream Full 1080p HD Video up to 60fps at a distance of 3300ft with incredibly low latency. The kit, not originally designed for video shooters was quickly modified by Camera Motion Research and has since been a popular affordable choice for those looking to send wireless HD video.
This year Amimon released a new kit called the Connex Mini. This system works exactly the same, except it now comes in a much smaller size, requires less power, and does not include a cooling fan like the original Connex (completely silent). Once again Camera Motion Research has created special accessories for the Connex Mini to allow video shooters to use with simple plug and play.
Keep in mind the Connex Mini does not stream audio, but the main stand out features for the Connex Mini are it's compact size, stream long distances up to 1600 ft, almost zero latency, and more importantly the ability Multicast up to 4 receivers (if you're looking to expand your kit in the future). These combined features are normally only found on more expensive systems.
So what other applications would need Wireless HD Video? Besides drone use, or on set sending feed to a director's monitor, this can be setup on a gimbal or Steadicam while someone else pulls focus remotely (low latency is important on this one). It can also be used on a Cable Cam setup or to send wireless video back to a Multicam Switcher during live events. There's multiple reasons why you may one day require wireless video, and the Connex Mini is a good option to keep in your radar. You can get more information about the Connex Mini and custom accessories available from Camera Motion Research at CAMOTIONLLC.com (here).