gh3

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The Panasonic GH3 camera pretty much runs me all day on a single battery. In fact we covered several products at NAB 2014 without ever having to swap out a battery during the conference. Still if you think you need to use the Panasonic GH3 battery grip for extra battery life, you'll quickly find that the Tripod Mounting hole is thrown completely off center with Panasonic's OEM battery grip.

GH3-Battery-Grip

This is problematic when using your cage, rails, and other accessories that require optical alignment with the lens. That's where this new Battery Grip Adapter comes in handy from Marketech.

Product Description:
The Battery Grip Adapter for Panasonic GH3 & GH4 Cameras from Marketech is a slim, rectangular accessory that mounts on the bottom of the Panasonic DMW-BGGH3 battery grip, and provides a 1/4"-20 tripod mount that is located directly underneath the lens. This matches the position of the camera's own 1/4"-20 mount, as opposed to that of the grip's 1/4"-20, which is shifted to the right. The adapter is constructed from durable Delrin acetal resin. It connects to the grip via the attached, free-spinning, standard 1/4"-20 slotted screw, the same type found on many tripod plates.

If the GH3 battery grip is compatible with the GH4, then this product claims to correct the issue with the new #GH4 as well. You can find the Panasonic GH3 Battery Grip Adapter via B&H (click here).
panasonic gh3 battery grip marketechgrip-relocateGH3 battery grip tripod mount fix
find-price-button Battery Grip Adapter for Panasonic GH3 Cameras

40 Comments

For mirrorless shooters the built in EVF works wonders for photography. Still many will prefer to work with the rear LCD display and an LCD View Finder Loupe for video work. The problems is trying to find one that fits since typical mirrorless bodies are so compact. The new Kamerar QV-1 'M' is a spin off the current QV-1 View Finder but with a new baseplate designed to take up the extra distance. Here's a closer look in this video below.

This new baseplate is not just compatible with small cameras like the GH3, but should be seamless for the upcoming Pansonic GH4. Heck, it might even work with that new Nikon 1 V3 just announced. Here's a few images below on how the Kamerar QV-1 M LCD View Finder also mounts perfectly to another very popular camera - the Sony A7 / A7r.

Kamerar QV-1 M on Sony A7
Kamerar QV1M LCD View Finder Sony A7 Mirrorless Gh4Sony A7r A7 LCD View Finder Loupe Kamerar QV-1 M

With the extra space compensated for, other small compact cameras will have an easier time getting this LCD View Finder to mount up. [Sorry still won't work for the BMPCC Camera] The QV-1 Quick Release Base (QB-15) allows a simple way to add 15mm rails to a compact camera system. More info following the jump (click here).

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find-price-button Kamerar QV-1 M LCD ViewFinder for Compact Cameras

QV1 15mm rail kitQV1 Quick release base plate
find-price-button Optional 15mm Rail Kit for QV-1 M

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If you're shooting video with the Panasonic GH3, I highly advise you take a look at the Fhugen GH3 Video Cage. It's compact enough that you can leave your camera in there the entire time, and will give you more mounting points for adding on those necessary accessories. One question that comes up often is 'How do you add rails to the Fhugen Cage?'.

Although there isn't a dedicated 15mm rod adapter for the cage, the design is straight forward much like the tripod mount under your camera. You can mount it to a variety of baseplates that support 15mm rails (and yes it will be optically centered).

In the example above i'm using the PNCGear MP-2 dual rod baseplate (found here). There are height adjustments on the MP-2 if you need to make your rails slightly higher or lower. The baseplate can be used in any direction, but here I have the logo on the side of the LCD screen. Under the baseplate is enough tripod mounts to add your quick release plate of choice for tripod mounting.

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Fhugen Honu Video Cage for Panasonic GH3 Cameras
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MP-2 Dual 15mm Rail Baseplate
15mm rails
(2) 15mm Rails for Baseplate

26 Comments

Here's a side by side video test showing samples from a Panasonic GH3 with and without the new Lens Turbo Focal Reducer. We used a newer Rokinon 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens [Nikon Mount] + and old Nikon 50mm Pancake. With the Lens Turbo adapter we were able to achieve a wider field of view and an increase in exposure.

Obviously YouTube has added compression to the video, but if you want to be a pixel peeper, you can download a better version of this edited video from my Vimeo Channel (here).

I think the image quality achieved from this (Speedbooster alternative) adapter delivered decent results for the price. The Metabones Speedbooster will run about $489 dollars (here), versus this Lens Turbo which can now be found under $139 US (here).

Of course we're just using a consumer grade Rokinon Cine Lens, and an old $50 dollar lens from eBay. There's no doubt this adapter won't match up to the quality of the Metabones products. Anyone using serious glass worth thousands of dollars might as well pony up the extra cash for the Metabones MFT M43 Speedbooster (found here).

Metabones Speed Booster MFT M43 Nikon Adapter
find-price-button Metabones SpeedBooster Nikon to M43 MFT

If you're a casual video shooter looking to get a wider field of view and increased light through your common glass, I think you'll be happy with the Lens Turbo. I'll probably go out and take a bunch of high resolution still images on the next outing, but for now let's hear a few comments about these first video test results. What did you guys think so far? [Comment]

For more info, you can find the Lens Turbo MFT Focal Reducer adapter available now via eBay (click here).

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find-price-button Lens Turbo Focal Reducer Nikon to MFT Micro Four Thirds Adapter

44 Comments

I've had this Mitakon Lens Turbo MFT Adapter for a almost a week and I am just getting ready to publish a video showing some examples from this. Recently I noticed an increase of questions and the amount 'buzz' picking up around the Internet, so I wanted to quickly provide some additional important information. THIS ADAPTER WILL NOT WORK ON THE #BMPCC BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. It simply will not fit or attach to the camera.

If you're not familiar with this adapter, it's similar to the Metabones Speed Booster (found here) (but less than half the price). Always a concern on smaller MFT cameras is the cropped sensor. The Lens Turbo adapter offers a wider field of view on these smaller sensor cameras and also increases your Aperture by 1 F-Stop. Your lenses are now wider and faster!

Metabones Speed Booster MFT M43 Nikon Adapter
find-price-button Metabones SpeedBooster Nikon to M43 MFT

Right now the Lens Turbo MFT / M43 adapter fits Nikon (F, G, Ai, Ai-s, E) manual lenses and should work perfectly on your Panasonic GH3 or BlackMagic Cinema Camera MFT mount (not Pocket Cinema). How well does it actually perform? Give me a few days, and you'll see a video with a variety of examples.

For more info, you can find the Lens Turbo MFT Focal Reducer adapter available now via eBay (click here).

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find-price-button Lens Turbo Focal Reducer Nikon to MFT Micro Four Thirds Adapter

31 Comments

I'm sure everyone is aware of 3-Axis Gimbal Video Camera Stabilizers surfacing on the Internet. Some people think this is going to be the future of hand held stabilization in cinema. There are literally dozens of versions available today, and here's one of the inexpensive versions that was sent over to me - the CAME 5000.

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This article is truly my first impressions on the CAME 5000 product, so keep in mind I am by no means an expert in this area. If you are just now looking into these types of stabilizers, hopefully this review should appeal to many of you who are also not experts. First let's take a look at a demo video about the CAME 5000 Stabilizer from the company.

Notice that with fast movements the camera stays pretty level, but with slower movements the camera will 'follow' the direction of Pan/Tilt. This area of operation does require a bit of practice steering the camera in different directions. Now lets take a look at what I was able to achieve with my first tests in this 15 minute video overview (below).

No matter how expensive other systems are, my impressions are that these gimbals are not as simple as they have been advertised to be. Like any other tool it can yield great results or look totally amateurish. It still boils down to skill and experience. Practice and and patience to perfectly balance your camera. Swapping out to another lens on this type of system will take several minutes to re-balance.

Ok, so from the examples I shot as a first time user, I think the unit seems to work pretty well with a Panasonic GH3 camera. The footage has not been stabilized in post, and it seemed to stay pretty level as I rolled the handles around. They state this CAME 5000 model can easily support larger Canon 5D (or similar) DSLR Camera Bodies.

Can this particular system perform even better than my examples? Considering my inexperience and lack of patience to perfectly balance my camera, I think there is definitely plenty of room for improved footage. How much better, I can't really say. Only time will tell as I continue to practice more and hopefully work with many other 3-Axis Gimbals. I'll be revisiting this again shortly as I think I figured out how to better balance my camera...

Further info on the CAME 5000 3-Axis Gimbal can be found at CAME-TV.com
CAME 6000 Stabilizer 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 6000 Stabilizer Gimbal
find-price-button CAME 5000 3-Axis Brushless Motor Gimbal Stabilizer

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OEM Panasonic Battery Grip will run you $199 dollars (as seen here). The good news is now there are aftermarket battery grips available for the Panasonic GH3 camera starting around $65 bucks. The bad news is that they still have the tripod mount located offset from the optical center, which mainly sucks if you're trying to use a set of rails.

Still, I guess you can't complain when it's $135 dollars less than the OEM version. Some listings include an extra set of batteries and charger. Check them out already available on eBay (click here).

Aftermarket Battery Grip GH3 Camera PanasonicPanasonic GH3 Battery gripPanasonic GH3 grip Battery Aftermarket Cheap
find-price-button Aftermarket Battery Grip for Panasonic GH3 Battery

14 Comments

If you caught my recent video shot entirely on the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you'll probably find quite a few wide angle shots. That's because I tried very hard to include only native MFT lenses especially the Panasonic 7-14mm & Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.

For anyone looking to adapt non-MFT Lenses (without a speed booster) to the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, here's what it will look like through a full frame Canon 5D Mark II, Panasonic GH3, and BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

[Note] In the field of view test, some of the images may appear soft, this is not the fault of the camera. The Rokinon 85mm on a BMPC will be at an approximate 240mm focal distance, and with a Variable ND filter on the lens, things go soft. It's best to use good quality static ND Filters.

In other parts of the video a Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 was used throwing it somewhere close to the 600mm focal range. Since an ND Filter was not used, results were much sharper from the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Judging from the distance of the 5D Mark II, the tripod was quite a distance away. Using the Rokinon 35mm and 85mm lenses, you can tell there is quite a crop factor to the smaller BMPC - more than you would get from a GH3. The BMPC has even more crop than from the original BlackMagic Cinema Camera. That's something to keep in mind if you plan to work in tight spaces. Invest in the right glass, or look for a Speed Booster / Focal Reducer (found here on eBay).

Products Used

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Canon 5D Mark II
Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 2
Panasonic GH3
Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 1
BlackMagic Pocket Cinema
Rokinon 35mm GH3 Pocket Cinema BlackMagic Canon 5D Mark II III
Rokinon 35mm
Rokinon 85mm GH3 Pocket Cinema BlackMagic Canon 5D Mark II III
Rokinon 85mm

40 Comments

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Newsletter went out today. The first Fhugen GH3 Video Cages are officially on sale along with teaser images of an upcoming Top Handle & HDMI Lock accessory. I've had my GH3 stuffed inside the Fhugen cage ever since I first mounted it.

The Fhguen cage is super lightweight and compact. I'm not sure how to explain it, but maybe because it was designed specifically for the GH3, it doesn't really feel like an awkward bulky piece of equipment screwed on to your camera. It actually feels quite natural as if it were already part of the camera.

A GH2 camera will mount inside of this cage, but battery door access will be blocked. Everything else lines up perfectly on the GH2. I'm still interested to hear how well it works with Sony NEX cameras, the Canon EOS-M, or possibly this new Panasonic GX7 everyone is talking about.

Definitely, If you're a Panasonic GH3 shooter, I suggest you take a peek at the product. Find out more about this at the product page over at http://www.photographyandcinema.com/.

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find-price-button Fhugen Honu GH3 Video Cage