8 Comments

Here's one new product from Zoom i've already went ahead and ordered. I've been looking at the Zoom F8 Multitrack Recorder for some time, but now that they have just announced this less expensive Zoom F4 Recorder with similar features as the F8, it's pretty much a done deal for me.

I also currently have all the various Modular Zoom Mic Capsules that I use with my Zoom H6, and the F4 allows me to continue to use them. What may not be clear is the Zoom H4 does have a 1/4" tripod mount underneath, and also comes with a Camera Mount Adapter. So you'll be able to use the Zoom F4 mounted under your camera (something I can't do with my H6). Available now (here).

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Learn-More-sm Zoom F4 Multitrack Recorder

6 Comments

Here's an LED video light that has quickly become one of my favorites and i'm sure many of you may find useful. Especially because of it's design that makes traveling with a set of lights easier than ever.

The Kamerar Brightcast Variable 15 is a Bi-Color LED light that is flexible, rugged, and carries an IP67 Dust and Waterproof panel. The thin folding panel is lightweight, compact, and can be battery powered - making them extremely convenient and fast to setup.

The Kamerar Brightcast Variable 15 carries a 97 CRI rating, offers strong output, and bi-color temperature adjustment. Power cables allow the panel to operate away from the frame so that you can use them in much more creative ways you would not be able to do with traditional 1x1 panels.

The Kamerar Brightcast Variable 15 panels can also be joined together (using an optional adapter) to make a larger light source. These panels work great for interview setups as key or fill, and can quickly be diffused for softer light using the D-Fuse Instant Pop Up Softboxes.

Over the last few weeks, i've had the opportunity to use these lights. I have to say they definitely offer a lot of features and quality for the price along with the convenience of portability with the flexible design. For more information, check out the product page for the Kamerar Brightcast Variable 15 (found here).

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Learn-More-sm Kamerar Brightcast Variable 15 Flexible Bi-Color LED Light

3 Comments

Like many, I was using Manfrotto Video Monopods such as the 561BHDV, but later started working with the Sirui P-204S for the option of the sturdy 'locking base'. But recently Manfrotto has started offering the new XPRO Fluid Panning Base that includes a Vertical Locking feature.

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The XPRO Video Monopods come in a few different flavors depending if you want Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, 4-Section, or a 5-Section and kits are available with or without a Video Head. These systems are fairly new and many websites haven't fully listed all the available options. The kit i've chosen is the MVMXPRO500US which is already available for purchase (found here).

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Learn-More-sm Manfrotto MVMXPRO500US XPRO Video Monopod with Locking Base

1 Comment

The new Cinevate Duzi 4 uses a First Ever innovative flywheel design placed directly under the main carriage adding smooth inertial dampening without the use of cog belts and additional bulk. Here's a look at Cinevate CEO Dennis Wood running through some of the new features and now the new flywheel works to smooth out your video shots.

For more information about the new Cinevate Duzi V4 Slider, check out the product page at http://Cinevate.com

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Learn-More-sm Cinevate Duzi V4 Video Slider with OnBoard Flywheel

21 Comments

Here's a product overview on the new Boltzen 55w and 30w LED Fresnel Video lights. What they come with, a run through some of the features, and few samples with Flood, Spot, and without the fresnel lens. Anyone working with hard spots like the Lowel Pro Lights, should really find these lights a joy.

The Boltzen 55w and 30w LED Fresnels are compact yet put out a good amount of power and the Fresnel lens has strong output even at a distance. The lights can be battery powered and stay cool to the touch (unlike pro lights), and you don't have to worry about fragile halogen bulbs burning out or breaking. You can use the lights without the fresnel lens for wider throw.

CAME-TV Boltzen LED Fresnel Light
CAME-TV Boltzen LED Fresnel Light

Keep in mind there are two things not seen in this video. First I didn't show the D-Tap cable which allows you to power these lights off of your V-Mount or Gold Mount batteries. They recently just added this D-tap Power cable as part of the standard kit, so anyone ordering one may have it in their case. Second is the Wifi control. There is a port on the back to which you will attach a wifi dongle. Then you can control it through a remote (or possibly iPhone app). This (optional) part was also not available yet during the making of this video.

CAME-TV Boltzen LED Fresnel Light
CAME-TV Boltzen LED Fresnel Light

If you're on a budget or super concerned about fan noise, the 30w is a great option. But personally I think the 55w is the way to go. The fan is barely audible from a short distance away. They 30w and 55w both share the same size. At this moment I think CAME-TV may be offering the smallest 55w LED Fresnel under $300 (cheaper when buying sets). I find these could be a perfect little compact hard light to keep in your kit.

For more information check out the product pages for the new Boltzen 55w and 30w LED Fresnel Lights (Found Here).

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Learn-More-sm CAME-TV Boltzen 55w 30w LED Fresnel Video Lights

8 Comments

So I made a comparison video (below), but before you begin watching I want to clarify a few things. This test is nowhere near scientific when it comes to measuring CRI or Color accuracy, but it should be somewhat helpful when it comes to measuring the amount of light at a distance. Another thing I want to clear up is that this is not by any means a fair comparison as the CAME-TV 55w Boltzen LED Fresnel Light (found here) is measured with a Fresnel Lens while the Aputure COB120T (found here) was working bare.

By performing this test in this manner, hopefully it shows that a smaller light with less power can still be capable of outputting a decent amount of light at a distance over a more powerful light. Especially within the last few years, with cameras (i.e. Sony A7s, A7sII) that have better low light sensitivity, we can shoot with less powerful lighting kits. Ok, let's get to the video.

I would not say one light should be considered as a replacement over the other. There are major differences in size, weight, power, function, and price - two different types of lights. I would say having both the Aputure COB120T and CAME-TV Boltzen 55w Fresnels as part of your lighting kits can be beneficial!

Over the next few weeks, I'll be gathering more footage of these lights in actual use and putting up a more official review. But because I know brightness tests like these are what most people need to decide if the new 55w Boltzen LED Fresnels is something to consider, I wanted to at least get this basic test out there.

You can find the Aputure COB120T and new CAME-TV Boltzen LED Fresnels following the product links below.

Aputure COB120T LED Video Light

Learn-More-sm Aputure COB120T LED Video Light
CAME-TV Boltzen 55w LED Fresnel

Learn-More-sm CAME-TV Boltzen 55w LED Fresnel

3 Comments

I've reviewed the iFootage Shark Slider combined with the S1A1 Motion Control in the past (video review seen here). This time we're adding on the X2 Head that allows for Pan and Tilt of the camera. With this, you have a fully motorized advanced 3-Axis Motion Control System that allows for accurate movements and positioning for Time Lapse and also incredibly silent for real time video use. Here's a quick video on how to use this system for that popular Parallax Tracking effect often used on B-cam setups during interviews.

The X2 Motion Pan/Tilt Head can also be used without the Shark Slider. So if you want a simple 2-Axis Motion Control Timelapse system, just throw it directly onto a tripod. Or use it at the end of a jib as a wireless motorized PT Head.

iFootage X2 2-Axis Pan Tilt Motion Control
Learn-More-sm X2 Pan Tilt Motion Control

I personally have only dabbled in some of what this entire system offers, and it is capable of far more advanced functions that what I have shown. It's not the cheapest motion control system avialable, but it's incredibly accurate if you need to repeat shots, highly programmable, and best of all incredibly silent (important for those interviews). You can find more information about iFootage Motion Control Equipment over at CamotionLLC.com (found here).

iFootage Shark Slider with S1A1 and X2 Motion Control

Learn-More-sm iFootage Shark Slider with S1A1 and X2 Motion Control

3 Comments

The new GoPro Karma Grip (Gimbal) is not available yet, and so I have to come up with a temporary way to fly my new GoPro HERO5 camera. The HERO5 is a much taller and wider design over the previous HERO3, HERO3+, HERO4 cameras and so most existing gimbals may not work.

PNCGear Pistol Grip Camera Handle

Learn-More-sm PNCGear Pistol Grip Camera Handle

But the Zhiyun Wearable Gimbal (found here) just happens to fit the New Yi 4K Action Camera (found here) - which just happens to be about the same height as the HERO5. But the small bracket that holds the camera in place is too small. Instead I've flipped a few mounting screws backwards and added a few tiny rubber bands to hold the HERO5 body in place on the Zhiyun Rider-M Wearable Gimbal. Finally i've added a PNCGear Pistol Grip Camera Handle underneath.

For now my setup works, but for stabilizing handheld footage with the new GoPro HERO5, the new Karma Grip Handheld Gimbal is definitely what you should invest in. The Karma Grip interfaces with the HERO5, so it will power the camera and you can download footage by connecting directly to the Gimbal - no need to pull your HERO5 Off.

It's also $100 Cheaper than the Zhiyun Rider-M Wearable Gimbal (seen in video). I think GoPro has a winner with this gimbal, and you'll be able to order the new GoPro Karma Grip HandHeld Gimbal (here).

GoPro Karma Grip Handheld Gimbal for HERO5

Learn-More-sm GoPro Karma Grip Gimbal for HERO5

10 Comments

Ok, the new Sony A6500 and RX100 Mark V just announced has received some pretty awesome upgrades. But did anyone catch the fact that the RX100 V can shoot 24 (20MP) images per second and can buffer 148 images in JPEG? 24fps is video playback rate, and 148 images is about 6 seconds worth at just a bit over 6K resolution.

Now if you switch to capturing 20MP images in 'RAW', you'll still manage 24fps and buffer up to 71 images - which is almost 3 seconds of video playback. A long time ago Nikon released a compact camera that was able to do this at 8MP still images, and many people have used this feature to make amazing 4K montage video clips. (now 4K is everywhere).

But if you think about what the new Sony RX100 MK5 can do, you'll be able to not just capture slightly over 6K Video Resolution, but capture it in RAW format. All in a pocketable point and shoot camera and with pretty amazing low light capabilities. The new Sony RX100 MK V will be available to order (found here).

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Learn-More-sm Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V Digital Camera

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Learn-More-sm Sony Alpha a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera