The Canon LP-E6 batteries were designed to fit inside of Canon DSLR cameras, so they don't really come in larger capacities. Sony batteries on the other hand come in a variety of capacities if you want extra run time. Well I wanted extra run time on the new BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera but didn't want to use the ugly and huge break out cables that is required for running external power.
Now I don't recommend this for people who don't really know what they're doing when it comes to batteries and soldering, but if you have the basic knowledge this little MOD can give you extra run time on your new BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera. The dummy battery and Sony Battery Plate are very basic and once you open them up, they just have two wires inside (red + black).
Once you merge those two plates together, you have a working adapter that sends the 7.4V voltage from your Sony NPF-970 battery to a Canon mount. Now Sony batteries come in different capacities so I don't necessarily have to use the bulky one in the video, but it's a good idea how much power I can run if I really wanted to.
Before I merged my two parts together, I added some heavy epoxy putty on the inside to make it more solid. I also plastic welded (melted the two parts together) along the sides. It's a pretty solid adapter and the wires are glued inside so they don't move. Now I like to experiment, but if you guys decide to try this out, just know you're doing this at your own risk...
Just testing some different color grades using RAW footage from the new BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera. This was shot in compressed 3:1 RAW on a Sandisk Card in 60p and then conformed in FCPX. I originally thought you couldn't shoot RAW in 60p on this camera, but that was because I was trying Full RAW. If you set it to RAW 3:1 (compressed RAW), then you can definitely do 60p.
The camera is a bit quirky without an LCD screen or Grip, so you need to add a few things to it to make it functional. But in such a small package it's amazing to get 60fps 12-bit RAW Video for under $1K. No other camera offers this. I can only imagine the quality people will get flying this on Drones (as it was originally intended for). Or even just used for car mount projects as this camera is tiny but packs incredible quality.
The BMMCC is very sharp, but my images in the video (above) are soft because I forgot to bring a good ND Filter and needed to stop the Panasonic 20mm lens down to F/16 (max). This lens is typically sharp around F/2.2 or so, and stopping it down (from bright daylight) really makes the images soft (Most lenses will be softer when at it's widest aperture or stopped down). I'll have to go out and shoot again, this time with a better lens and ND filter.
Obviously the #BMMCC #Blackmagic #MicroCinema camera is not designed to be as sensitive in low light as the Sony A7s, but at ISO 1600 it's not too shabby. As long as you can get your exposure set properly and push everything down in post, noise shouldn't be too much of an issue. It's when you shoot underexposed and then decide on trying to push up the Shadows, Mids, or Highlights that you'll see a big problem. Instead you should be setting your exposure so that your know in post you will be pushing down your Highlights, Mids, and Shadows. If you can't set your exposure, you'll have to light your scene. Personally I think I would stick to ISO 800 as much as possible, but here's a test at ISO 1600 where I felt I was still shooting underexposed, and you can see some of that noise.
BTW, if you have a decent set of headphones or speakers listen to the Stereo Audio recorded by Azden's new SMX30 which is two microphones in one! So handy to be able to switch from a directional microphone for focused sound, or to Stereo to capture natural ambient sound. Unlike a mono audio track, you can actually hear the people walking from one side to the other, or cars driving by.
Varavon's offering up to 70% OFF on select items on their website. They offer a wide variety of camera products from Camera Cages, Cable Cam systems, Gimbals, Sliders, Battery Solutions, and more. They also offer many accessories such as their Magic Arms, 15mm rails, clamps, grips and handles. You can browse their website at http://Varavon.com
Here's a quick overview video of the new CAME-TV Mini 3. This is the third version of this little gimbal. The first CAME-MINI required tools to balance your camera, while the MINI-2 was very similar in build to the original version with the exception of tool-less adjustments. The new MINI-3 Gimbal has been completely redesigned, but keep note that it is still geared towards carrying a similar sized camera and payload as the other CAME-MINI systems.
The most important performance difference is this new model finally has Encoder Hardware built in. Encoders have made a huge difference in how SBGC gimbals operate, and it's something I highly suggest looking for when shopping for one. You should have more stability as well as longer more efficient battery life.
The new top handle can be removed from the gimbal frame and sectioned into 3 pieces (similar to ARGO design). Since the battery is now mounted behind the camera (not inside the top handle like MINI/MINI2), the Mini-3 Gimbal frame can be used without the top handle. In fact CAME-TV is advertising a version that can be mounted under a Drone and comes with a special vibration mount adapter called the MINI-3-AIR (seen here).
Similar to CAME-TV's ARGO Gimbal, the CAME-MINI 3 comes with a wireless joystick, gimbal stand, Hardcase, Battery, Charger, Built in 5.8Ghz Wireless Video Transmitter (SD), and a few other accessories. Inverted mode is done by rotating the handles over the side (not over the top like Ronin). It should automatically detect the inversion, so there's no need to power the system Off and restarting the system inverted. This makes it much faster when changing your shots from low mode to eye level tracking shots.
So for those who are wondering if this CAME-MINI 3 gimbal will be suitable for you, I would highly recommend you get familiar with the types of cameras and lens combinations people are having success with. You can see many of those examples of CAME-MINI gimbal videos submitted by customers (found here).
After a few years, I thought it was time to retire some of my old Sony NPF-970 batteries. You start to notice that they won't hold a charge as long, and taking them out in the field was always questionable. After shopping around, I stumbled on to the SWIT S-8972 Batteries. The only Sony NPF style battery I know with a built in meter! I can't tell you how something so simple could really make life a whole lot easier.
Ok, so the battery meter is huge in my book, but there's more to the SWIT S-8972. It also offers a DC output allowing you to simultaneously power another device. Do you even know how many video devices there are that could benefit from this? Maybe you've got a monitor that runs on Canon LP-E6, but now you can optionally power it with the SWIT. An LED light? Audio recorder? Or how about taking a Sony Dummy battery and using the SWIT as your power source to power your Sony A7sII A7RII (or compatible sony camera).
In any case, you could buy cheaper batteries and i'm sure they will last a good while. But for a few more bucks, I find the built in Battery Meter and 7.4V DC Output is worth the extra cost. You can find the SWIT S-8972 product page (here).
If you're shooting with a micro four thirds camera, the Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 is in my opinion a must have lens for run-gun with your camera. It's also a very popular choice to use when flying your camera on a drone, or with the smaller handheld gimbals.
It's (equiv 24-70mm) focal range offers decent wide to medium zoom with a constant F/2.8 aperture and offers decent image stabilization. Not the most cinematic lens, but if you had to travel with just one lens for your M43 camera this is it. Right now this lens is discounted an additional $300 OFF, which is the cheapest i've ever seen it. A must have lens in the bag, don't pass up this deal as they state limited QTY at this price.
Here's a walk-through on my BlackMagic Design 4K ATEM setup used for live streaming out to the Internet while switching between several different cameras. It's certainly not elegant and i'm open to ideas on how other people have their setup, but what I have so far seems to work pretty well. Once everything is in place, we don't have a single hiccup.
First, let me state the the large 2U tray with Yamaha Mixer has been replaced with a simple Nady 1U XLR Mixer. So this cut down size and weight when i'm traveling with the 4U Rack Case I have everything mounted in and it looks a lot cleaner.
The reason i'm using a mixer is so that I can input several microphones, control microphones independently (with hardware controller), and feed the signal to both Left/Right. There are two XLR inputs behind the ATEM, but if you were to use the XLR inputs directly the audio would just be on one side (left or right) unless you used some special splitter. But again that would limit the amount of mics you can input and still wouldn't have the physical hardware to adjust gain.
We're not using the OSEE LCM156 Monitor in it's Flight Case, because it's just so handy to travel with and just the right size to see multicamera feeds. The professional monitor can also see just about every frame rate and we can use either HDMI or SDI inputs. We often had trouble using computer monitors or cheap televisions.
When your Program Feed (the final video output your audience sees) is streaming to YouTube, it will be compressed and sometimes only at 720p. For this reason we are recording the same Program Feed to an Atomos Shogun (you can use an Atomos Assasin too) locally in case we want to upload the better quality version later. Now because we're only capturing 1080, you could use a BlackMagic Design Video Assist Monitor but that records to SDXC Cards. I think I'd rather have my recordings on SSD.
To send the feed over to Wirecast, we have a BlackMagic Design Intensity Extreme (now discontinued). This takes an HDMI input and sends the video to your computer over Thunderbolt. A replacement for this device would be one of their UltraStudio Express devices but the cheaper ones will lack the HDMI pass through. Still it would work to send the feed to your computer for Wirecast streaming to YouTube (or other services).
I specifically chose the GH4 cameras because I wanted to work at least three cameras. The GH4 is also small and inexpensive compared to something like a Sony A7s. The batteries also last all day compared to other Canon or Sony cameras. The GH4 can record 4K internally to the SD Card while still outputting 1080p (and at any framerate) over HDMI. This means we can have an additional backup recording in each camera. The BMD ATEM also needs each camera to have the exact same framerate and resolution, so it's important that every camera can output the same. I really can't think of a more idea camera unless you go with a dedicated camcorder of some type.
Now I don't know if it's just me, the cameras, or the HDMI cables, but the 4K ATEM is pretty finicky when using HDMI inputs. So instead i'm converting all HDMI signals to SDI using an Atomos H2S which seems to never drop out on the ATEM, and i'm able to do super long runs over 100 feet. Sometimes we'll use send video wirelessly, but that could bring a new set of worries like battery power for your Wireless Transmitter, Interfererence, etc. When possible we'd rather run long cables.
There are much simpler solutions out there (and cheaper). One system i've been keeping my eye on is the Cerevo LiveWedge. This looks fantastically simple to use and should be great for a majority of Multi-Cam Live Streamering projects, but it does have it's limits when compared the ATEM for example HDMI inputs only. This may or may not limit the distance you can position a camera. But it does have a built in scaler which means you can use mixed framerates and won't have the same issues as the 4K ATEM.
Anyways, this is the setup i've managed to cobble together with the BlackMagic Design 4K ATEM when live switching Multi-cameras during a Live Internet Stream. Again, it's certainly not elegant and there may be better configurations out there. If you've got questions or comments, let me know.
This video was shared in the comments, but I wanted to post it up here as I think this is a great option too for the same price as the LiveWedge.
I recently had the chance to play with a BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera over at the WPPI show about a week ago. The dynamic range looked better than from the Pocket Cinema Camera, but the addition of 60fps and now powered by Canon LP-E6 batteries is what really sold me. You'll definitely need some type of screen to work with it, but I already own the BlackMagic Design Video Assist (BMVA). Here's a couple of images showing the serial cable connections you can use to control this camera remotely (i.e. Drone use) and also the Camera settings available from the Menu of the new BMMCC.
So if I you're looking to get one ASAP, i'd place your order at DVEStore (here), and then maybe cancel your previous. Their website may still say 'pre-order' but they confirmed their shipment should arrive on Tuesday. I expect these will go fast, and it would suck to have to wait even longer. Hurry and good luck!