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It's always a good idea to pack a small LED Light. You never know when you need to add a little fill to your subject, a product, or maybe use one to bring up the ambient lighting in a small room. A bonus if that light was able to adjust temperature from 3200K-5600K. And if you're extra creative, you may go as far as carry a set of colored gels too. If this is starting to sound complicated, perhaps it's time to check out the Luxli Viola Multicolor 5" LED panel.

A few examples I could think the Luxli Viola would be great for is to add colored backlighting or accent lighting for run-gun shots relating to music videos, weddings, techy interviews, product videos, etc. From simple daylight to tungsten, millions of RGB color shades, and wireless control (iso or groups), the Luxli Viola Multicolor LED would certainly be a handy tool to keep in the bag.

The only con I have to complain about is that for a 5" LED panel at $500 MSRP, it's pricey. If it helps, the Viola is currently on sale -$150 OFF. If you guys have any ideas on how you would use a set of Luxli Violas, leave your comments below! You can find the Luxli Viola 5" Multicolor LED Panels (here).

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Learn-More-sm Luxli Viola Portable 5" Multicolor LED Light Panels

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6 Comments

SlingStudio is a new product recently announced at the NABShow. With the popularity of Multi-Camera Live Streaming videos growing over the past year, I find this is one of the most innovative products to drop in 2017.

With the SlingStudio you can take advantage of using (ios and Android) smartphones as inexpensive wireless cameras, or use any of your professional cameras by adding their CameraLink adapter. Here's an unboxing and general setup with the brand new SlingStudio.

How it works:
The SlingStudio Hub can work off of battery power, so it's truly portable. Once you power it on, it acts as a wireless access point. Install the SlingStudio Capture app on your smart device and connect to the SlingStudio Hub (wifi network). From an iPad with the SlingStudio Console app installed, you can view all of the different video being streamed from every device connected.

You can choose to record just the program feed locally on an SDXC card, or external USB drive as your switching camera angles, or you can record each of the feeds individually to edit later. There is also a dedicated Audio line in if you're working with a mixer or even a simple wireless mic system. If you have internet access at your location, you can choose to Broadcast Live to any of the popular social networks (Facebook, YouTube, etc).

There's a number of features any multi-camera live production would need such as graphic overlays, and various transitions. When working with a Smartphone and Capture app, there's even a Tally display that tells the operator when their camera angle is being used.

Pros:
The most exciting part of SlingStudio for me is the completely wireless workflow - right down to the Hub running off battery power. Not only can you use accessible smart devices for a multi-camera production, but you can also add your professional camera systems.

Notes:
I haven't had the chance to test SlingStudio in a long project yet, but there are a few things I could already advise. If you're planning on using a smartphone, use good hardware. The better the hardware, the smoother the video will stream back to the SlingStudio hub. And if you're planning on shooting for a short while, make sure you have a charger on hand. The Wifi connection and streaming video back to the hub consumes a fair amount of battery power.

There's also a small 2 second or so delay in the video feed when viewing from the iPad. This is not something to be concerned about if you're not outputting the display to a live audience in real time. People who are watching from a Live Stream on the internet are usually delayed 30-45 seconds by providers like Facebook and YouTube anyways. The delay is also not a problem if you're planning to just record all the streams to edit later.

I'm excited to try the new SlingStudio out on a few projects, but if you have any questions or comments now, let me know. I'll try to implement those answers on my next follow up video.

Or read more about the new SlingStudio (here):

SlingStudio Wireless Live Switch Live Stream Live Production
SlingStudio Multi-Cam Live Switch + Stream + Record

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When you want an easier way to start and stop video on your sony cameras, I recommend getting this inexpensive Fotga remote. I've had this remote for a while, and it's worked with my Sony A7s, RX10, A6500, etc. Basically it should work with any Sony camera that uses a multiport usb input.


Fotga Start Video and Zoom Remote for Sony

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Here's a quick production tip. One problem I run into quite a bit is when i'm asked to offer a multiview (quad view) of the different camera angles (especially handy with interview setups). While you can buy a dedicated monitor that offers these features, a more flexible way is to use a Multiview adapter like the Decimator DMON-4s (found here). Again, this is helpful when you need to direct multiple shooters, or when you need to share all of the feeds to a client for a review.


This is also helpful when shooting events as you can monitor what your other shooters are doing (framing, exposure, etc.). The Decimator DMON Adapter allows you to input up to (4) SDI inputs and can display QuadView. You can change the multiview to display just 1 camera, 2 cameras, or 4 cameras (quad view). Since the Decimator DMON-4s outputs via HDMI, it will work with any monitor that can accept an HD input signal via HDMI.

decimator dmon 4sdecimator dmon-4s quad quadview multiview
Learn-More-sm Decimator QuadView: http://cheesycam.tv/DMON

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4 Comments

DJI just announced a new Spark Drone, and like the Mavic Pro fiasco i'm sure it will sell out early. If you're looking to pre-order your brand new #DJI #Spark #Drone, you can find them (here):

dji spark combi greendji spark combi red
Buy Now Button Tiny Pre-Order DJI Spark from B&HPhoto

dji sparkdji drone sparkdji spark dronedji drone spark newblue dji drone spark
Buy Now Button Tiny DJI Spark Drone Pre-Order Amazon

DJI Spark Drone
Buy Now Button Tiny Pre-order DJI Spark via DJI.com Website

Product Overview:
Spark is a mini drone that features all of DJI's signature technologies, allowing you to seize the moment whenever you feel inspired. With intelligent flight control options, a mechanical gimbal, and a camera with incredible image quality, Spark empowers you to push your creative boundaries.

Features:
Quick Launch
With FaceAware, Spark lifts off from your hand by recognizing your face.[1] It takes off and hovers in place within seconds of powering on.
Simple Control
Take amazing aerial photos using just hand gestures, without a remote controller or mobile device.[1]
Create with Ease
Intelligent Flight Modes and intuitive controls help you create cinematic aerial videos with just a few taps.
Edit and Share
The DJI GO 4 app features automatic editing templates and an array of filters. Quickly edit videos and share them straight to social media.
Intelligent Flight Modes
Smart, reliable, and incredibly intuitive
QuickShot
Videos with a Tap
Let Spark take professional shots for you. QuickShots help you shoot amazing footage with cinematic composition.
Rocket
Ascend with the camera pointing downward.
Dronie
Fly backward and upward, with the camera locked on your subject.
Circle
Circle around your target.
Helix
Fly upward, spiraling around your subject.
TapFly
Flight at Your Fingertips
In TapFly mode, just envision your shot and Spark captures it for you. Tap your phone screen and Spark, using vision technology, flies in the direction of your tap or exactly where you tapped while actively sensing obstacles. Capture shot after shot with just your fingertips.

dji sparkdji drone sparkdji spark dronedji drone spark newblue dji drone spark
Buy Now Button Tiny DJI Spark Drone Pre-Order Amazon

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6 Comments

The 'Tri8' (triple 8) is a new LED Light Panel from Aputure that jams 888 LED bulbs into a panel roughly measuring 10"x8". If you're familiar with their Amaran line of panels such as the AL528 or HR672, this is pretty much inline with those models, except that they've taken the build quality from their higher end LS1 panels.

This particular Tri8C model from Aputure I received feels like it has a concentrated beam angle which is good for getting your lights to reach a bit further. Though, I wouldn't be surprised if they offered different versions of this light with varying beam angles, as they've been known to do with their other panels (i.e. 672S vs 672C vs 672W).

On the Tri8 light you have a clamp for a power brick (which can be swapped to a v-mount plate), color temp adjustments from 2300K-6800K, brightness dimmer knob, dedicated on/off rocker switch, and a battery meters that display Hour+Minutes instead of just a graphic icon.

The LED panel is powered via a D-tap cable either from a mounted V-Mount battery, from the included AC to D-Tap power adapter, or by using dual Sony L-Series Batteries. They've included a set of Sony NPF-960 batteries as part of the kit. Your Sony batteries can be recharged by mounting it to the Tri8 panel and plugging into AC power.

Compared to their popular LS1 Lightstorm Panels, the big difference here is that you can power the Tri8 from Sony L-Series (NP-F) Batteries or V-Mount batteries. The LS1 can only be powered via V-Mount. Also the Tri8 has all of the controls built into the panel, as opposed to a separate controller box that you need to hang.

As of this writing, the Aputure Amaran Tri8 LED light is still not available. But i'll update this post once they have it listed.

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Especially when i'm working on Live Production on location, i'm always thinking about where my ATEM setup would be. Sometimes you have to bring your own table, but here's an alternative option - a full 3 shelf Folding Portable Rack.


These racks are light enough to carry and fold down quickly to transport in your car. They setup just as fast without tools and is a good way of keeping your bags together and off the floor. The wheels make it easy to move gear about, and there's been times where i've even gone as far as using cable bike locks with my hardcases to ensure they don't wander off. I'm showing my Medium sized version, but the smaller version (only a few inches shorter) starts at around $40 dollars. They come in a variety of sizes, but for travel and to maintain a low center of gravity it's better to stick with the small to medium models with casters.

origami shelf rack folding rack
Learn-More-sm Portable Folding 3 Shelf Rack with Casters

If you're looking for a large space to work, they also have a folding desk setup as well.
folding desk origami
Learn-More-sm Portable Folding Desk

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3 Comments

I shoot with (3) BlackMagic Design Ursa Mini 4.6K cameras, and that comes with a few challenges. When traveling I do like to have all my gear in one case, but it's not always ideal when our shooters have to split up. A single case to hold 3 camera setups also gets heavy real quick.

When we run into these situations we need to pack each of the camera rigs into separate bags. Because of the size of the Ursa Mini 4.6K cameras we typically have to break them down to fit into most bags or backpacks - which really slows you down during production. So over the last few weeks i've been searching for various bags that can accept a fully 'rigged' camera.

After searching through a few possible large bag choices from companies like Porta Brace and Think Tank, I happened upon the Tenba Cineluxe 21 and asked B&H to send me one of these bags for me to test out. What is most intriguing about the Tenba Cineluxe 21 that this bag can operate as a Shoulder Bag or a Backpack, and when worn as a backpack your hands are free to carry extra items such as your Tripod and Lighting gear.

It's an excellent fit for the height, width, and length required by Cinema or Professional Camcorder style cameras like the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K or even Sony FS7 without breaking them down and has decent space for your accessories. Once your camera is placed inside, there is a strap to lock it down. The exterior dimensions fits Carry-On requirements when you need to fly with your gear.

When compared to the options from the other top camera bag brands, it also happens to be more affordable as well. I think Tenba has a winner here in the Cineluxe 21.

tenba 21 cineluxetenba backpack 21tenba cineluxe 21 bagtenba hybrid bag
Learn-More-sm Tenba Cineluxe 21 Shoulder Bag BackPack

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When I first moved from Canon DSLRs to Sony Mirrorless cameras, I often adapted my Canon lenses using a metabones adapter. Mainly because back then the seelction of good E-Mount 'Full Frame' lenses were small. But over time Sony continues to expand their line of full frame e-mount lenses and with Sony's excellent auto focus system, you just can't beat working with native lenses. One of my favorite lenses is the 16-35mm but at F/4 it wasn't the greatest. Now Sony has just announced a new 16-35mm F/2.8 GM (G Master) version and this is definitely a lens to add to your kit if you're working with Sony E-Mount full frame cameras like the A7s / A7sII. Just in case you want something event wider for e-mount Full Frame, they've also dropped a new 12-24mm. Check out both of Sony's new lenses (here).

new sony 16-35 12-24
Learn-More-sm Sony 16-35mm F/2.8 GM and 12-24mm F/4 Lenses

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