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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).

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Learn-More-sm Tentacle Sync Timecode Generator

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.

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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).

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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).

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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.

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?

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A quick video tour of the new Gopro Karma Gimbal Hand Held Stabilizer and the features it offers for the HERO5 camera.

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.

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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.

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Learn-More-sm GoPro Karma Grip Gimbal Stabilizer

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Learn-More-sm GoPro HERO5 Black Camera

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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).

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Learn-More-sm Polar Pro Filter Kits for DJI Mavic Pro Drone

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).

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Learn-More-sm DJI Mavic Pro CPL and ND Filters

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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).

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Learn-More-sm Camera Motion Research Amimon Connex Mini Kits

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FotoDiox has designed a clever Nikon AutoFocus Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter. The adapter communicates with the Nikon lens so that you can make all your adjustments through the Sony camera menu and dials. To adjust the iris on the autofocus Nikon lens, a tiny motor inside of the adapter mechanically adjusts against the iris lever. The new FotoDiox Fusion Nikon G-Mount AF-I / AF-S to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapter is available now (found here).

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Learn-More-sm Fotodiox FUSION Nikon G-Mount AF-I / AF-S to Sony E-Mount Full Auto

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While many believed the drones would create a boom in economics and generate new companies, there are definitely clear winners and losers in the Drone Industry. Venture capitalists and other investors have started to pull back from funding new companies, early pop up drone companies have already filed bankruptcy, and others trying to step in to this space seem to be putting out drones that already feel outdated (sorry GoPro Karma).

With the new Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2, DJI has once again pushed the bar for what consumers can expect to have in the consumer drone products at consumer friendly prices. These new drones have major advancements in Design, Performance, Image Quality, Obstacle Avoidance, and Intelligent Flight Modes.

Phantom 4 Pro
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The DJI Phantom 4 Pro sports an upgraded camera is equipped with a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor capable of shooting 4K/60fps video and Burst Mode stills at 14 fps. The FlightAutonomy system adds dual rear vision sensors and infrared sensing systems for a total of five-directions of obstacle sensing and four-directions of obstacle avoidance.

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A 5.5in 1080p screen integrated with the Phantom 4 Pro+ offers 1000 cd/m2 of brightness, more than twice as bright as conventional smart devices. It makes bright, vivid colors easily visible in direct sunlight. With this screen, a mobile device is not required, simplifying pre-flight preparations. As the DJI GO app is built into the screen, hardware and software can be fully optimized, further reducing video lag. Integration of an HDMI port, Micro-SD card slot, microphone, embedded loudspeaker, and Wi-Fi connection allow images to be edited inside DJI GO to be shared almost instantly. Lastly, a five-hour battery life makes the Phantom 4 Pro + a complete aerial imaging solution.... [Read More About the Phantom 4]

Inspire 2
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The new DJI Inspire 2 takes everything that was good about the Inspire 1 and improves it. An all-new image processing system records at up to 5.2K in CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes and more. It goes from 0 to 50mph (80kph) in just 4 seconds and hits a maximum speed of 67mph (108kph) and has a max descent speed of 9m/s for unheard of speed and agility in an aircraft this size.

A dual battery system prolongs the flight time to a maximum of 27 minutes (with an X4S), while self-heating technology allows it to fly even in low temperatures. Flight Autonomy has been revised and developed specifically for the Inspire 2, providing two directions of obstacle avoidance and sensor redundancy. Increased intelligence adds multiple intelligent flight modes, including Spotlight Pro, giving even single pilots the ability to create complex, dramatic shots.

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Integrated into the Inspire 2 is the brand new CineCore 2.0 image processing system, capable of recording 5.2K videos in CinemaDNG*1, Apple ProRes*2 and more. CineCore 2.0 is built into the aircraft nose and works with any camera connected through the dedicated gimbal port. (Currently compatible with X4S*3 and X5S).

An upgraded video transmission system is now capable of dual signal frequency and dual channel, streaming video from an onboard FPV camera and the main camera simultaneously, for better pilot and camera operator collaboration....[Read more about the Inspire 2]

Available to Order Now

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So the new Freefly systems Movi Pro Gimbal basically sits inside of a Fig Rig (as seen in top left photo). If you're looking to get similar functionality with your Came-TV Gimbals, they all come w/ Quick Release Adapters so that you can mount those gimbals to just about anything. Here's a basic PVC frame you can build for your small Optimus Gimbal or Mini-3 Gimbal that can offer similar function.

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DIY Gimbal Fig Rig Stabilizer Frame

Using 1/2" PVC, the corners are made up of (2) 45 Degree elbows. Top handle is a T connector + (2) 90 Degree Elbows. The feet to keep it standing are (2) T connectors and some scrap PVC capped off. Basic bike grips used on sides and on top handle (bike grips work well on 1/2" PVC). No balance stand needed to set your gimbal down, and you still have a top handle and dual side handles. Decent for those smaller gimbal systems to allow you to hold and operate your camera as you would a Fig Rig stabilizer.

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Once you start shooting with a camera that has quality like the BlackMagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K, you'll want to be able to use it as much as you can. But because of it's size and weight, it's not an easy camera to fly on a gimbal for more than a few minutes. So it's time to add a Gimbal Support System to the mix.

While there are many different types of vests available, I decided to try out the Tilta Armorman 2 Exoskeleton Vest. While I prep this gear for an upcoming project, I thought I would share how the Tilta Armorman 2 (version 2) works, how the arms can be enabled / disabled during use, and how versatile it is to move a large gimbal around like the CAME-TV Prodigy.

If you're wondering why I chose the Tilta Armorman2 system, it's not that I believe it's better than anything else on the market, but it does work differently. You'll find a few systems that hang gimbals over your head. This may or may not cause more stress to your neck, shoulders, and lower back as it pulls you over.

The design of the Armorman 2 on the other hand have ISO arms that sit low and wraps around the sides of your body. Waist pads sit over the Pelvic bones transferring the weight to your hips similar to a Steadicam Vest (Your vest should sit more on the hips and not hanging from your shoulders). This has been a good standard for Steadicam operators for decades offering better posture and again transferring most of the weight off the lower spine.

Again, I can't say if it's better than other support systems on the market, but it's the one I prefer to use at the moment. Remember this is Tilta's version 2 Armorman, which was completely redesigned and easy for one person to manage. You can get more information about the Tilta Armorman 2 Gimbal Support Exoskeleton (here).

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Learn-More-sm Tilta Armorman 2 Gimbal Support Vest Exoskeleton

For large camera setups, the new CAME-TV Prodigy Gimbal has more height, more width, and a deeper frame than a full size Ronin. I can easily fit the Ursa Mini 4.6K with a V-Mount battery mounted on the camera. You can find the new CAME-TV Prodigy (here).

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Learn-More-sm CAME-TV Prodigy 3-Axis Gimbal 32-Bit w/ Encoders