dslr video

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Nab2016 BlackMagic Design introduces the new Video Assist 4K Video / Audio Recorder + 7" HD Display. Not only cheaper than some of the Atomos 4K recording products, but you can also record 4K video via SDI (as where Atomos is only HDMI).

1920 x 1080 Touchscreen LCD
Records UHD 4K/HD Up to 30 fps
10-Bit, 4:2:2 ProRes or DNxHD
HDMI and 6G-SDI Video Inputs
Dual SD Media Card Slots Supports UHS-II
Two Mini XLR Inputs with Phantom Power
On-Screen Histogram and Audio Levels
Focus Peaking & Zebra
Dual LP-E6 Hot-Swappable Battery Slots
AC Adapter Included

It's not often Blackmagic Design introduces a new product at an NABShow and has it available shortly afterwards, but the new Video Assist 4K Video Recorder Monitor is available right now (via B&H).

blackmagic_design_hyperd_avidas74k_video_assist_4k_1461095041000_1247829 blackmagic video assist 4K
learn-more-button BlackMagic Design Video Assist 4K Video Monitor Recorder

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I know a lot of people were waiting for this, and it's finally here - the official DJI OSMO X5 Adapter to (properly) mount that Mirrorless X5 Interchangeable Lens camera.

dji osmo x5 adapterdji osmo x5 camera adapter
learn-more-button DJI OSMO X5 Camera Adapter

This is pretty big news for those looking for the smallest combination of ILC and 3-Axis Gimbal. But with a bigger camera this means shorter battery life. So DJI has also announced an OSMO external battery extender. The battery extender allows for a DC input, or you can get an optional cable to connect directly with one of your DJI Drone batteries.

osmo battery extender dc out external battery djidji osmo external battery extender
learn-more-button DJI OSMO External Batter

And for active shooting to where you need additional stabilization on vertical movements (up/down running, jumping, car mount, etc), they've added a Z-Axis arm accessory that works like a mini Steadicam ISO Arm.

dji osmo vertical stabilization z axis armdji osmo z axis stabilization
learn-more-button DJI OSMO Z-Axis ISO Arm

DJI has certainly thought of just about everything, but the X5 camera isn't cheap (unless you already have an Inpsire1 Pro). The X5 is a micro four-thirds camera and starts at $1699 (here).

dji osmo x5 camera
learn-more-button DJI OSMO X5 Camera

And just in case you're not familiar with the DJI OSMO, here's an introductory video showing the basic version with the entry level X3 camera.

Of course you can improve the OSMO system greatly by adding some of the new accessories and camera mentioned in this article.
dji osmo buy now preorder priceDJI OSMO Price review video sample
VIEW-ITEM DJI OSMO for X3 X5 X5R Camera Gimbals

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I'm prepping for my trip to NAB, but I thought I could squeeze in this quick test of the new Aputure DEC LensRegain vs the Metabones Speedbooster S Version. Both of these adapters offer a wider field of view when used with smaller sensor cameras (i.e. Micro Four-Thirds cameras or Sony E-Mount). Since they concentrate more light to your sensor, all of your lenses will end up having faster apertures as well. For instance my Canon EF 100mm F/2.8L Macro shows as an F/2.0 when using the DEC LensRegain.

The test was using a GH4 and an 85mm XEEN Cinema Prime shot in 4K. As you can see the Metabones Speedbooster 'S' Version achieves a wider field of view over the DEC LensRegain. But the adapter is about $650 US Dollars (here). I'm not exactly sure, but the Aputure DEC LensRegain may list for around $500.

metabones_mb_spef_m43_bt4_canon_ef_micro_4_3_t_1438014030000_1158844
Learn-More-sm Metabones Speedbooster S Version EF - M43 Lens Adapter

Besides the slight difference in field of view, the Aputure DEC LensRegain in my opinion performed very well. Lines look straight, image seemed sharp from middle to corners. There's a good number of cheap focal reducers on the market that can't seem to get the optics right. I can't say it's any better than the Metabones Speedbooster S Version, but I can say that the DEC LensRegain performed far better than some cheap adapters i've tried.

And while certainly cheaper than a Metabones adapter, it does have a trick up it's sleeve. The DEC LensRegain is actually a wireless follow focus system for Canon EF Lenses too. And If you've never heard about the DEC Lens Adapters, take a look at this video I made from the original (non focal reducer) version.

After using it for a while (and after the NABShow) i'll do an official review of the DEC LensRegain, but if this was something you were already looking for and were just waiting for some samples, I can say the optics itself look really good.

aputure dec lens regain
Learn-More-sm Aputure DEC Lens Adapter LensRegain Focal Reducer + Wireless Follow Focus

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Heads up readers, during the NAB2016 Show next week keep an eye out on these particular IndiPRO Tools power cables for an additional discount. These cables offer a custom Mini-Tap to Dummy battery that can keep your Canon or Sony cameras powered up from a V-mount or Gold Mount battery. The cable is regulated inline to ensure your camera is operating at the correct voltage (as v-mounts are typically 14V+ out).

The difference between these cables as opposed to a standard D-Tap is the custom Mini-Tap which splits into two additional power option. (Other cables pretty much hog the entire D-Tap port). Once connected to your v-mount battery, you will still have an option for an unregulated D-Tap out to power up an additional accessory + a USB 5V out. That's three possible accessories you can power from a single battery without an expensive distribution system.

indiprotools mini-tap cable 2 indiprotools mini-tap cable3 indiprotools mini-tap cable
Learn-More-sm IndiPRO Tools Mini-Tap Power Cables

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Several months ago FilmPower released a handheld Gimbal integrated with a 4K camera and LCD Screen called the ROXOR. Very similar to DJI's OSMO Gimbal, but with an LCD screen on the ROXOR, you did not have to connect via WiFi to your phone. I could only imagine battery life would be better than the short run time on the OSMO.

Now FilmPower has added new features to the ROXOR and also new gimbals in this line of handheld stabilizers. One interesting product is the new 360VR Camera + Gimbal. For anyone looking to dive into 360 VR Videos, this camera could be a fun start while at the same time adding stabilization. The second ROXOR added is now a 'Pro' version which has more manual controls over exposure along with a 3.5mm mic input. These new products will be shown at NAB2016, and we'll be stopping by to get hands on with these new products soon.

For more information, visit the FilmPower website: http://FilmPower.US

filmpower roxor gimbal

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blackmagic micro cinema camera rigged
Micro Cinema Camera Rigged for Hand Held Shooting

If you're not a fan of the new BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera, this video is most likely going to bore you. So you may want to skip this post. But if you're currently shooting with the BMMCC (and as obsessed as I am), i'm pretty sure you'll find this post super helpful - especially the part where I share a little of my DIY Remote Handle setup.

First let's talk a little about 'Why this BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera?'. Simply put, it's under $1K and offers RAW video up to 60p. And it's incredibly tiny! No other camera offers this, and I love the color science. But it's not an easy camera to operate handheld as there is no screen and the menu is deep for changing small settings.

Originally frustrated with the handling and controls of this camera - my combination of parts and custom button mapping has allowed me to just grab this camera and shoot. It's now a camera I can enjoy shooting with. There's obviously no right way to rig a camera, and this is just how i've assembled it for my personal taste. For those asking, the 15mm rod above my BMMCC is held in place with a Pico Plate (below).

kamerar pncgear pico plate 15mm
15mm Pico Plate - 10% OFF Use Coupon Code: Cheesycam

If you're looking to really run small, you can opt for using native Micro Four-Thirds lenses (instead of my Full Frame Rokinon Cinema lenses) or even the Veydra MFT Cinema Primes. You can also shrink your monitor down with something lighter, thinner, and smaller like the SmallHD 501. That would really make this BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera a super portable system.

micro cinema camera size compared to panasonic dvx100a
Rigged BMMCC size compared to Panasonic DVX100a

There are some benefits to using the BlackMagic Design Video Assist as a monitor though. I can set the internal recording to RAW, but if I decide to shoot in a lower format like ProRes, I can do that from the BMVA (without having to change in camera). Or I can record simultaneously RAW (in camera) and ProRes LT (in BMVA) for some quick proxy files to share or have a backup.

By the way, the Video Assist monitor doesn't add any controls with it's touch screen. It simply works as a Monitor and an HDMI Recorder. You can't communicate with the BMMCC.

Obviously they wanted to use small batteries on this camera to minimize the weight for Drone use, but I'm very happy with my Sony to Canon LP-E6 mod. It's a great way to add extra run time without adding an external battery system like a V-Mount. And I would hate to have to use their breakout cable which is a mess, and then have to input a 12V source. With my mod, it feels like i'm just using a bigger Canon battery, and i'm still using 7V.

The battery mod also allows me to power both camera and one extra accessory at 7.4V using my SWIT battery. Instead of using the 12V input on the Video Assist monitor, i'm using a Canon LP-E6 dummy battery to use basic 7V. (I really did put a lot of thought into this setup).

Hopefully the video explained how i'm creating changes in the camera in a way you can understand. When you join the two wires together from the analog PWM input, it sends a signal to change a setting. This works on many of the options, but not everything. For some items (like iris, focus) you'll need true PWM. The other 'con' if you will is that you can't go backwards. Not really a big deal as it's still much easier than diving into the menu for every small change.

I really wish BlackMagic Design would expand these PWM options to include changing FrameRates and changing from RAW to ProRes. That would really complete this camera, and many companies can create simple remote handles to control almost every aspect. They allow the use of S.Bus which means you can expand even further from the 4 basic analog inputs and control up to 18 more settings through a single channel input.

In any case, i'll stop rambling and hopefully this post has been helpful to other BMMCC shooters. If you're thinking about picking one up, it would be great if you consider DVEStore.com as they were the ones who put this camera into my hands to study, spend countless hours on, and share this information with you guys.

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VIEW-ITEM BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera RAW ProRes 60p

Oh and BTW, i'm far from done. I'm already designing an entire rig around this camera based on my setup, including a remote handle to operate some of the settings i've show in this video. A complete rig that will allow other BMMCC shooters to just add a camera + monitor and start shooting with similar ergonomics as a camcorder. So if this is something you're interested in seeing, simply like or share this post. It will let me know if it's something I should spend some time on.

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I'm not one of those guys who'll preach that you should be shooting your next movie on an iPhone, but like many other people I take more photos and videos through my Smartphone than with any other camera. Whether it be for personal use, or for keeping up with this blog, I use my smartphone camera everyday.

I'm sure many of you have tried cheaper wide-angle and fisheye lenses which just ends up with crazy distortion and overly soft images. But if you're serious about maintaining the quality from your Smartphone, this new Ztylus Z-Prime Lens Kit (sent over for me to test) promises to offer excellent optics.

The Ztylus Z-Prime Lens Kit offers two different high quality lenses. A Telephoto lens which gives you more zoom, and a wide angle which is especially handy when shooting in Video mode as the iPhone really starts to really crop in. The wide angle lens here is not a fisheye, it's rectilinear with little to no barrel distortion.

ztylus on instagram#Ztylus images on Instagram

Now I don't think I need to share any of my boring image samples because you can see thousands of Ztylus examples already on Instagram (found here). While there's many options for lens adapters, if this is a lens kit you think you might be interested in, they've provided me with a Special Coupon Code to offer up an Additional 20% OFF current price on these particular Z-Prime Lens Kits.

Coupon Code: CheesycamZ-Prime

 

As far as I know, this is currently the biggest discount available for the Ztylus Z-Prime Lens Kit. I know it's not for everyone, but it might be worth sharing this article with your friends and family who are serious 'iPhoneographers' as they might appreciate this limited time discount.

You can find more information about Ztylus Smartphone Cases and the Z-Prime Lens Kit over at their website (here).

wide-angle_01

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The Azden SMX-30 is a unique Video microphone as it physically has two microphones built into one body. There is a directional shotgun microphone for focused mono sound, and a pair of microphones spaced 120 degrees apart used for a wider stereo pickup. When it comes to video microphones, you would typically carry two different microphones.

Originally I thought the dual microphones may have been just a gimmick, but the Azden SMX-30 really does sound good when used in either mode. The system also includes some features found in more expensive video microphones such as +20db Gain Booster (preamp), -10db Pad (attenuation), low pass filter, and a sturdy shock mount.


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I'm not going to dive into scientific data on this mic as I personally don't feel I need to. For me personally I think it sounds darn good (comparable to other mics), build quality is great, and most of all it's features make the SMX-30 very practical.

Being able to switch between stereo and mono on the fly is incredibly handy when switching between capturing focused dialogue (i.e. interviews) or ambient sounds of the environment. That makes this a great mic to have when traveling.

With an auto power on/off setting, you never have to accidentally record video with no sound and you don't have to worry about powering your mic off before packing it away in a bag. You can get additional information over on the B&H product page (here)

azden shotgun microphone dualazden smx-30 video microphone
Learn-More-sm Azden SMX-30 Stereo Mono video Microphone

You may also check pricing for this product with:
Amazon | B&H Photo | Adorama | DVEStore | EBAY