The FotoDiox Mirage Trio is a fun novelty item for pure camera enthusiasts. It looks like a Sony A series camera, but is actually a triple USB charging dock for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. The lens has a cut out to hold the Apple Watch chargers as well. Available on Amazon (here)
Aputure is probably http://amzn.to/2jUxYbtbest known for their LED Lighting, but over the last few years Aputure has also released a few different audio products including on-camera video microphones and Lav mic kits.
Just recently Aputure has released their first professional level Shotgun Microphone with quality and performance that is already being compared to mics over three times it's price. They've also added water resistant coatings that protect the microphone from elements, and even it was accidentally submerged into a puddle of water.
The new Aputure Deity Shotgun Microphone is available now in a variety of kits from your basic set with a hardcase, to complete sets that include a Pistol Grip Shock Mount, Boom Pole, and Dead Cat Wind Cover. Check out the available Aputure Deity Shotgun Microphone kits (here).
Nothing serious. Just thought I would try out the 1fps + 120fps S&Q feature on the Sony A6500 Mirrorless Camera today. Used available light indoors and out. Shot with the Sony 16-35mm F/4 Lens and Sony 35mm F/1.8 Lens. Used continuous Autofocus and shot Hand Held. Because I was shooting with mixed lighting indoors, I found the footage really hard to color balance. Since I was shooting at 120fps, I set my shutter to 1/250th which cut a lot of light indoors and shot mostly around ISO 2500. It's a neat camera, but the footage works best if you can expose properly. I found it hard to shift the exposure and color around much in post.
Although I love many of the features of the new Sony A6500, I feel there's a lot more noise than the Sony A7SII, so shooting and grading SLOG footage would probably 'not be' my first choice. I'm currently experimenting with Profile 3 and Profile 4 right out of the camera for now.
While shooting outside with the Sony A6500 I needed to work with an ND Filter, so I decided to throw on the Fotodiox Fusion ND Throttle Lens Adapter that has a built in Variable ND. For those who are concerned about losing sharpness, I provided a few examples.
Since i'm not shooting with a totally flat image, I only applied some basic curves (contrast) and tried to adjust the white balance. The ND Throttle helped keep the shutter and aperture under control so I could maintain a shallow DOF. I believe most people will end up buying Sony AutoFocus Lenses, but if you want to adapt Canon EF to your Sony A6500, this Fusion ND Throttle is very handy. You can find the FotoDiox ND Throttle Fusion Lens Adapter available on Amazon (here).
Here's another sample where I push the image around with a whole bunch of color adjustments just to see how well Picture Profile 3 holds up in post. From my tests, I think it's a good go-to in-camera profile when you're too lazy to correct SLOG and want to minimize noise.
I proudly own (3) Panasonic GH4 cameras, and it's just been a dream working with them. But the new Panasonic GH5 advancements is leaps and bounds above the GH4 and I think it's time for the upgrade. No limit time recording, Higher ISO recording, in camera Image Stabilization, 4:2:2 10 bit recording, 4K up to 60fps, VFR up to 180fps, Dual SD Card Slots, increased resolution (no crop in 4K), Full Size Type A HDMI input, almost 5x more focus points, new external Dual XLR Mic Adapter, and a firmware update later this year for 6K Anamorphic support, Hybrid LOG profile, to add up to 400mbs 10bit All-I internal video recording which is just mind blowing.
Upgraded, redesigned, and filled with features, the Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera from Panasonic provides an outstanding imaging platform for shooters who demand some of the best video and still photography quality they can get in a single compact camera.
At the heart of the new Panasonic GH5 Camera is a 20.3MP Digital Live MOS sensor and a newly developed Venus Engine processor, which both offer dramatically improved processing times over its predecessor. This enables the ability to record 4K video at up to 60 fps, 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording with select settings, Full HD video at up to 180 fps, 12 fps continuous shooting, and sensitivities up to ISO 25600.
Also, the camera features built-in 5-axis sensor stabilization, which can work with certain lenses to activate Dual I.S. 2 for highly effective shake correction that can compensate for up to 5 stops of shutter speed. Other improvements include a speedier and more accurate Advanced DFD autofocus system that can lock on in just 0.05 seconds, as well as 6K PHOTO at 30 fps and 4K PHOTO at up to 60 fps.
20.3MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
Venus Engine Image Processor
UHD 4K 60p Video with No Crop
Internal 4:2:2 10-Bit 4K Video at 24/30p
5-Axis Sensor Stabilization; Dual I.S. 2
0.76x 3.68m-Dot OLED Viewfinder
3.2" 1.62m-Dot Free-Angle Touchscreen
Advanced DFD AF System; 6K & 4K PHOTO
ISO 25600 and 12 fps Continuous Shooting
Dual UHS-II SD Slots; Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
As someone who dabbles with camera equipment, I'm often asked what's the easiest way to take a clean photo with a smartphone to post on social networks or to eBay. Without having to mess with various lighting kits and diffusers, my first suggestion is that they try out the Foldio Folding Studio from OrangeMonkie.
It's a simple product photography kit that sets up fast, folds down flat, and is complimented by an easy to use iPhone app. When adding in the optional Foldio360 Smart Turntable, they can also create fully animated 360 Product Videos to their websites and social networks - which are fun, adds more dimension to products, and I find more engaging.
If you're working with larger products, remember that you can use the Foldio360 Smart Turntable with your own background and lighting. And if you want to take higher res photos with a DSLR (i.e. Canon 5D), the app can be configured to fire the shutter on your camera through an IR blaster.
Overall the Foldio Studio and Smart Turntable are probably the easiest off-the-shelf product photography kits i've worked with. Inexperienced users will find this hassle free for capturing clean images and 360 Product images that are automatically generated by the iPhone App ready to share on social networks or send via email. You can get more info on Orange Monkie Foldio Products (here).
These days when i'm asked to suggest a good Video Fluid Head to support small camera setups, my go to advice has been to suggest the Manfrotto MVH500AH (seen here). It's a great entry level head, but I mainly suggest this because it supports the 501PL style plate (heavily used in the industry), and also because it uses a 'Drop in' style quick release system. I prefer this over the type where you have to slide your QR plate into the head.
I've found the Drop-In style quick release system easier and faster on set, and also more compatible with all of the cheaper generic 501PL plates (found here) allowing me to save a lot of money when I need to buy new plates.
I've always found Libec to offer high quality equipment, but because many people depend on 501PL plates, they may not have been a popular choice. Some Sachtler and Benro Tripods use the 501PL plate system, which may have been a reason they were easier for many people to adopt. I probably would have used Benro more, but I chose to stick with the Manfrotto MVH500AH specifically because of the Drop-in style plate.
For these specific reasons, i'm excited about the new Libec TH-X Head. They have finally implemented the use of 501PL compatible plates along with the Drop-in Style Quick Release System. The TH-X Video Head is a great option for entry level shooters and cameras around 8-9 lbs as it is designed with a fixed drag on Pan and Tilt, and a fixed counterbalance.
I've been working the MVH500AH Video head for quite a long time, but only until I've been working with the Libec TH-X did I realize how much I prefer the quick release latch to be located on the left side. You'll typically use your right hand to pick up any camera (because every camera has a right hand grip), and so it makes perfect sense to release a latch with your left hand. On the Manfrotto it takes me a few extra hand swaps to release my camera.
The new Libec TH-X Head is also a Dual Function Head as it can be used on a 65mm Bowl Mount Tripod or any standard flat base with it's 3/8" threaded mount. For Manfrotto these are offered with two different heads - the MVH500AH for a flat base or the MVH500A for a bowl mount. The TH-X is versatile in this manner as you can level your camera on a tripod very quickly using the bowl mount, and then throw it onto any Video Slider, Table Dolly, or Jib without requiring any adapters.
Right now the Libec TH-X Head is offered as a complete Tripod System (here), yet is more affordable when compared with the similar Manfrotto MVK500AM Tripod System (found here). There is definitely a like to like with Libec's latest tripod system, and the fact is there is not many options for video heads that offer a 'Drop-In' style quick release system. The TH-X Head is easily one that I will suggest to others looking for that drop-in plate system, and something I will be using as part of my daily gear.
Other Products You May Be Interested In
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).