Tag Archives: came-tv argo

5 Comments

Aputure has released several versions of their DEC Lens Adapters, but in case you're not familiar with what they are and how they work, i've put together this Product Overview video. This video specifically focuses on the brand new DEC Vari-ND Model (available in MFT and E-Mount), but is very similar to the other models - especially the LensRegain version which is a Focal Reducer (a.k.a Speed Booster) Lens adapter.


Who's it For?
The way the product DEC Lens Adapters are designed, I think primarily it should really appeal to camera operators that need the ability to adjust focus with a wireless remote. Obviously it's not at the level of a professional Wireless Follow Focus system, but it at least offers decent focus controls at a minimal cost in an incredibly compact form. Even cheap wireless follow focus systems can still run well over $1200 dollars and require additional rods to mount, and additional power to run the focus motors.

The wireless remote and clamp can be attached as a handle to your gimbal, on a Steadicam, end of a Jib, or even to just the Pan Handle of your Tripod. Additional features such as iris adjustment on your Canon EF (or compatible) lenses can be handy when you are transitioning a camera movement from indoors to outdoors, or to just change your DOF. But now with the new Vari-ND version (electronic variable ND Filter) you have another dimension in which you can control your exposure and all through a wireless remote.

About the Vari-ND Filter
Traditional Variable ND Filters placed on the front lenses use two rotating pieces of glass that cancel out light as you rotate. While this is simple and effective, there are some drawbacks to how much variation you can have, how much color shift happens, and most importantly how much softness occurs because of how the two additional pieces of glass affect the incoming light (image).

The ND Filter inside of the DEC Vari-ND Lens Adapter is NOT using two pieces of polarizing glass. and is instead using a single sheet of glass (with liquid crystals) and uses electricity to adjust and vary the amount of ND. This is similar to the technology found in the new Sony FS5 camera. Aputure also claims that there are no color shifts happening during the process of varying the amount of ND applied.

At the minimum ND8 you're looking at about 3 Stops of ND Applied. The darkest ND applied on the Vari-ND is about 11 stops. ND8 (3 Stops) is pretty dark and something you won't be using indoors. Outdoors, you'll find the the Vari-ND useful especially when shooting at F/2.8 or wider. You'll notice in my video test there are steps between what i'm actually calling out (stops between ND8 and ND16, etc). Aputure claims they may be able to add a firmware update that allows smooth ND transitions instead of the stepping it has now (similar to how the Sony FS5 operates).

Summary
The line of Aputure DEC Lens Adapters are certainly very unique and offers features in a form factor and price that can't be found in any other tool. You can visit their website for additional information about the complete line of Aputure DEC Lens Adapters (found here).

aputure dec vari-nd lens adapter lensregain
check latest pricing Aputure DEC - Lens Adapter + Vari-ND + Lens Regain

 5 Comments

2 Comments

There's been a recent change with the CAME-TV ARGO and MINI 3 Batteries. These stabilizers have now moved to 'Battery Cases' that hold popular and easily available Samsung 18650 Batteries. This is a big bonus for many as you no longer have to purchase a proprietary battery if you want extended run times. Here's a video of what it looks like, and what's included.

The one thing CAME-TV has mentioned is that it's important to remove the 18650 batteries from the battery cases when not in use. Otherwise it's possible the batteries can drop down below a voltage that most chargers see as a possible bad battery. Then you'd end up having to replace the Batteries. This is common for many types of batteries as it could be an indication of a bad cell, or bad battery. If the battery is good, it's more like 'sleep mode' and it's possible to recover a good battery from this if you know how (i'll let you do research on that).

So if you're looking to stock up on extra power, here's an example of these 18650 Batteries that customers seem to have positive reviews with:
18650 samsung battery cells
Learn-More-sm Samsung 18650 Rechargeable Batteries

And you can find additional information about the CAME-TV ARGO and MINI3 Gimbals at the CAME-TV website (here).

came-tv-mini3came-tv argo gimbal
Learn-More-sm CAME-TV ARGO and MINI3 Gimbals

 2 Comments

36 Comments

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).

CAME-MINI2-AIR Gimbal  for Drones
Learn-More-sm CAME-MINI3 AIR Gimbal with Vibration Mount

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.

CAME-TV CAME-MINI 3 Mini 3 gimbal encoders
Learn-More-sm CAME-TV CAME-MINI 3 Gimbal 32 Bit SBGC w/ Encoders

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).

 36 Comments

Leave a Comment

Decided to throw the CAME-TV ARGO Gimbal into the official DJI Ronin-M Hard Case. Parts fit almost exactly, and the case holds everything.

 Leave a Comment