The Falcon Eyes DVR-160TVC LED Ring light is good for closeup type work that needs broad diffusion. Color temp adjustments and quad section controls allows for more creativity, while the option to power from Sony L-Series batteries are a plus.
One issue I have with the Falcon Eyes DVR-160TVC is the camera bracket always needs to be attached in order to mount the light to a stand. When putting it back in it's case, you'll have to go through the hassle of dismantling the bracket. I personally think it would have been better if there were an optional mount placed directly on the LED ring light - even a simple 1/4"-20 thread.
The diffusing panel over the LED bulbs cuts down about half the light output. It would have been nice if there was a quick and easy way to remove the diffuser when you want extra light output.
Overall the DVR-160TVC LED Ring Light offers some good features and good CRI color. But at close to $200 US (found here), it's definitely on the high side of other LED Ring lights and is going to leave a lot of room for other options for people to consider. But not many of those options offer bi-color temp adjustments or quad section controls, so that's may be something to consider as well.
So many of today's digital accessories run off of Sony L-Series batteries there's no reason why you shouldn't have them available as part of your gear. And for the next 7 hours you can get in on this huge discount for Anton Bauer's NP-976 6600mah batteries (that's a huge capacity). Seriously though, you'll be missing out on this deal if you don't pick up a few of these. Save -$40 OFF, now just $39.95 each.
ProAm USA is offering up One FREE Slideways Pro 48" Carbon Fiber Slider 'Complete Kit', which includes a Tandem Leg Tripod, & Video Fluid Head. To enter, simply use the form below (USA & Canada Residents over 18 only). To increase your chances of being selected you can Submit an Entry Form Once a Day. Entries start today and run for the next two weeks, Good Luck!
The small form factor of the Zoom H1 can also be used as a handheld microphone (tip: add a Foam Windscreen) during interviews, or attach an AspenMics H1 Clip to use as a belt worn audio recorder paired with a Lav Mic. Many people will use this technique during weddings to mic up the groom and officiant. Often this is better than working with a wireless audio kit if you're concerned about audio drop outs or wireless interference issues.
With the latest Zoom H1 firmware installed, you can also use the H1 as a USB Audio interface with your computer. For computers that don't have an easy Mic input, it's a way to use your Zoom H1 Stereo Mics as your computer mic or whatever mic you have connected to the 3.5mm input on the H1. This can be used for podcasting or recording Screen capture videos and tutorials.
The adapter is extremely lightweight, and sets you up to record one or two microphones while controlling levels independently. You can now work with high end microphones which typically are designed to work over XLR and Phantom power. There is a quick switch to set -20db when input is too loud (i.e. Line In), and +20db when input is too low.
I love the quick access for adjusting audio levels instead of having to dive into the GH5 menu. There's just something about tactile buttons and switches that you can't replace with deep software menus. I also love how you never have to deal with a separate battery to power the Adapter. It runs completely off the GH5 body through the hotshoe (no extra cables hanging around). If you're looking to run audio directly into the GH5, the DMW-XLR1 is a definite buy in my opinion. Not only does it make working with audio easier, you get better quality, and it opens up more options. You can find the Panasonic DMW-XLR1 Audio Adapter (here).
Timecode is a simple way to sync Multiple Cameras and or Audio Recorders quickly with frame accuracy. Cheaper consumer cameras may have an option to reset timecode within, but after a short period clocks begin to drift apart between your different cameras. This is because they don't have accurate internal clocks. And though they may have an option to send timecode out (over HDMI), they don't have a way of getting timecode in from an external accurate Timecode Generator.
Tentacle Sync Timecode Generators solves this problem by working as an external clock and embedding timecode into one channel of audio. This will essentially work for any type of camera with an audio input such as a Panasonic GH4 / GH5, Sony A6300 / 6500, and can even work with a GoPro. This can even be setup to work with tiny cheap audio recorders like a Zoom H1.
Once you have each of your equipment 'listening' to an external clock, it doesn't matter how often you start and stop video across multiple devices. The Tentacle Sync (clock) is continuously running for up to 40 hours, and every recording you begin will have accurate time embedded into the audio or video file (metadata). Depending where you want to send this timecode, they have a number of different adapter cables from XLR, BNC, USB, TA3, Lemo, cables for RED + Arri Alexa cameras, and even works when recording with iPhones - (all found here).
The first comment people have is 'Just use PluralEyes', which works great to sync files by analyzing each camera's recorded audio. But there are many situations where your cameras won't share the same audio. For instance, projects like reality shows where one camera may be inside a car and another across the street. Or when covering sporting events from different sides of a stadium where you're picking up random conversations (screaming + yelling) from a crowd.
A few years ago, I once helped to cover an event on a Golf Course. Believe me when I say there's not a lot of audio captured in each camera to use as scratch audio for sync. Often we had cameras set a distance away from the Golfer and cameras on the other end of the course (to watch the ball drop). Because there was always distance, wireless audio had too many drop outs and too much interference. So for talent audio we opted to use belt worn portable audio recorders. Needless to say, attempting to sync all of the audio and camera angles in post was not an easy task. This would have been much easier had we worked with timecode.
Keep in mind that Tentacle Sync can be used for Timecode Audio, but for many professional cameras like the Ursa Mini, Sony pro cams, or higher end audio recorders, Tentacle Sync can be used to embed timecode into the metadata of the files recorded. It can be used in different ways.
Tentacle Sync Timecode Generators are small, lightweight, affordable and very fast to setup. I really like how they have a built in microphone allowing you to still capture scratch audio, or to use a splitter cable and allow you to still input from an external microphone. Obviously using Timecode in your workflow will save you hours and hours in post editing when shooting multicam projects.
The BlackMagic Design Video Assist build quality top notch. A machined aluminum 7" Touch Screen Monitor + 4K Recorder that lets you record from both HDMI and SDI inputs. Display featueres include Histograms, Zebra Overlays, Focus Peaking, Central Zoom, and Timecode over SDI + HDMI. There's a lot to like about this monitor and knocking off 34% OFF is huge. Just $595 right now, but you've got just one more day left (deal ends 6/30).
I've been working with a prototype CAME-TV Prophet gimbal since they announced it at the NABShow 2017. I certainly like the design, but I also wanted to share an opinion on someone who uses gimbals as an important part of their business. BluSky Films specializes in high profile Real Estate videos in the Bay Area and surrounding cities within California. A large percentage of their footage is shot using gimbals and drones. So I followed along while Justin from BluSkyFilms reacts to using the prototype Came-TV Prophet Gimbal with new Orbit 2 Ring Handle for the first time.
And just for your reference, here's the final video edit from Justin using footage shot from the CAME-TV Prophet (prototype) Gimbal and Orbit 2 Handle.
The new CAMETV Prophet is overall a larger gimbal than the CAME-TV Optimus with a more spacious frame, larger and more powerful motors. For those who want to flip out the LCD Screen or use HDMI cables out, the camera can be mounted with the pitch motor on the left or the right side. The Prophet Gimbal can be used inverted or underslung. The new Orbit Handle is a big plus making it easier to setup, balance, and even set down as no stand is required. The Orbit 2 handle has areas for mounting accessories such as a monitor or LED light, and allows for more places to hold the gimbal frame as you operate.
When it comes to Multiple Camera Angles and Live Streaming, I'm constantly impressed with the simplicity and ease of use with SlingStudio. Instead of an ATEM hardware switcher, you're managing everything from a simple iPad - wirelessly. Instead of running cables back to your switcher, your cameras are wireless and free to roam. Even though you can use professional cameras with a CameraLink adapter, you always have the option of simplifying your setup using the SlingStudio Capture app on iOS or Android Smartphones.
For those smaller productions or on location, I decided to invest in (4) 16GB 6th Gen iPod Touches. They are inexpensive new, but you can also save a few bucks if you find refurbished models. Launch the app, and the video feed is streamed right to the SlingStudio hub.
To increase run time, I threw them into an iPhone 5 battery case. The iPhone 5 is pretty much out the door, so battery cases can be picked up for dirt cheap. Since an iPod touch is physically slimmer than an iPhone, you'll need to add a little bit of padding behind the iPod to take up the extra space. Outside of that, iPhone 5 cases are a perfect fit.
In order to mount the iPod Touch, I specifically chose the Ztylus Z-Grip Clamp. This allows for a tripod mount, and also a cold shoe mount for a microphone or LED light. The clamp is also designed to be used as a hand grip if you're shooting handheld.
For better audio, I decided on the Rode VideoMicro Microphone. These microphones are small, come with a shock mount, and will work directly to any camera. But if you purchase the (optional) TRRS patch cable, then it will directly work with iOS devices too. I think the furry windscreen also makes the setup look pretty cool too.
There's a few more things i'm going to add to my ultra portable setup here such as an XLR to iOS adapter so it will give me more options to use different microphones or audio mixers. I'm excited to start putting this mobile setup to use, and if you're interested in Multiple Camera Switching for Live Streaming, check out more info about the new SlingStudio (here):