If you've ever struggled to balance cameras such as the Sony FS7 or Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini into a DJI Ronin, then your interest will be peaked by the new CAME-TV Prodigy Gimbal. It's a physically larger gimbal with a deeper, wider, and taller frame offering up a lot more room to balance these types of cameras. Yet despite the larger size, the Prodigy Gimbal is almost a full pound lighter than the full size DJI Ronin (not to mention less expensive too). Here's an unboxing of what comes with the new CAME-TV Prodigy Gimbal and a quick demo of the Ursa Mini placed on the system.
The system comes with a nice rolling hardcase with durable dense custom cut foam. The battery system is powered by (4) 18650 Batteries which doesn't lock you into propriety batteries if you need more run time.
Balancing the system requires no tools, and there are plenty of fine tuning knob adjustments to get the balance perfect. Just like their Mini3 and ARGO Gimbals, there is a built in wireless video transmitter. On the frame is a 15mm Rod Clamp for you to attach accessories such as a wireless follow focus. It comes ready with a wireless joystick, and also a Quick Mount Plate to attach the CAME-TV Prodigy in creative ways (like under a jib or RC Gimbal Car).
The Prodigy is the latest and LARGEST gimbal CAME-TV has made to date. The final production version is even larger than what was shown at NAB2016. It was designed specifically to resolve the issues of balancing these larger camera bodies or cameras with heavier lenses. The Prodigy is available to order now at the CAME-TV Website (click here).
Here's a product overview of the new CAME-TV Optimus Gimbal vs the popular CAME-TV Single. In a nutshell, if you were happy with the performance of the SINGLE Gimbal, you'll be blown away by what you can do with the new design and flexibility of the Optimus.
Now both gimbals support the same payload, so don't expect to use heavy camera setups. As I said, it doesn't matter how small your camera body is if you've decided to use lens adapters and large full frame Canon Lenses. That's no longer considered a 'small camera' setup. You'll want to stick with the small camera body + small native lenses to get the best results from these small gimbal systems.
If you're curious what type of camera and lens combinations work, take a look at the CAME-SINGLE product page. They have a very nice list of camera and lens combinations that customers are using and they also link to the customer videos. Not only will you get a sense of what works, but also how the final images look from wide angles to portrait lenses - (click here for examples).
Unlike the SINGLE, the Optimus now folds flat for travel as there are no 'hard stops' built into the motor rotations. Each motor can rotate a full 360 degrees thanks to new slip rings incorporated into each motor housing. With the ability to rotate without limits, the gimbal can be used inverted or upright, and can be rotated at anytime without having to restart the system.
And now that the battery has been relocated to the frame, you will be able to use a variety of different handles or mount the gimbal frame under a jib or Drone. Another bonus of course is that you can swap out the batteries quickly if needed. The CAME-SINGLE with battery built into the handle was a bit more time consuming to change batteries.
Also a difference from the CAME-SINGLE (or other gimbals) is the ability to connect directly with the Flight Control Inputs (located on the side of frame) for Pitch, Roll, and YAW. If you understand SBGC these inputs are used to connect an RC Remote (i.e. Futaba) to control the gimbal from a very long distance or to integrate with the controls of your Drone.
So while the Optimus does carry a higher price tag it includes many accessories over other systems. First, you get two batteries. You also get the Single Handle + the Dual Handles. It will include a tripod mount for balancing, and a fairly decent Hard Case for travel. You'll also get a Wireless Joystick and Magic Arm (for mounting accessories). That's a pretty decent bundle of items if you're trying to compare prices with other systems.
For more information and to see samples already shot with this gimbal, check out the CAME-TV Optimus Product Page (here).
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.
I'm one of those guys who pre-ordered a BlackMagic Design Micro Cinema Camera the moment they were announced at NAB. But after almost a year of waiting, my pre-order still hasn't confirmed to ship. But here's really good news. If you want your Micro Cinema Camera ASAP, I just got confirmation that the DVEStore may have at least a few dozen available
today by Tuesday [03.24.16]. They confirmed that they have already set aside for me to ship as soon as it arrives at their warehouse (overnight shipping!). I expect by Wednesday afternoon at the latest.
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!
And if you're looking for a Cage with Top Handle, CAME-TV has this one available.
What a surprise! While this camera is pretty tough to find right now, DVEStore.com was kind enough to lend me one of their BlackMagic Design URSA Mini Cameras. I really did enjoy the quality coming from the big URSA, but it was a beast of a camera to manage out in the field. It required a heavy duty tripod and couldn't be shouldered for very long without fatigue. The URSA MINI is less than 1/3rd the weight at just 5lbs (camera body) with a more compact form factor, so very easy to move around and travel with.
The most stand out feature over the BlackMagic Production 4K camera, is that the URSA MINI offers 4K RAW up to 60fps (yes 4K/60fps!) and for just $2995 (here). That's cheaper than a Sony A7RII. There's additional modes for 1080 up to 120fps if you need faster. If you want even better quality, the URSA Mini 4.6K sensor will offer 4K RAW up to 80fps.
The basic package for the new URSA Mini doesn't come with the top handle, shoulder pad, extension handle, battery plate, or URSA EVF which is all options you can purchase to make a full shoulder rig camera. For now, I've had to improvise by assembling my favorite rig parts together (as seen below).
I would say the 'core' of the rig you see above is the SHAPE C100/C300 Rig setup with the Paparazzi Top Handle + SHAPE Pro Dual Follow Focus. The long 15mm Rails are lightweight Carbon Fiber from PVGear.com. The CAME-TV Shoulder Pad is placed directly under the camera, so it's very well balanced. But when the camera sits this far back, you'll need an EVF upfront. I'm using my Cineroid Retina EVF + Loupe.
I'm using CAME-TV 15mm Handles with Rosette joints. The BlackMagic URSA Mini Remote Handle just happens to be the exact same so I was able to replace one handle with the URSA Mini Remote. Now that I have most of this put together it's time to take it out this week for some test footage. If you guys have any questions about this camera, I have one here in my hands and i'll try to answer some. Otherwise you can get more information by contacting or visiting DVEStore.com
At some point in time you may find yourself on a project that will require you to send a feed to a remote monitor for others to view. Perhaps you have a client that needs to provide input about your camera settings, lens choice, framing, or movement. Or maybe you have an assistant to help with a wireless follow focus. And when your camera can't be tethered with a cable, eventually you may find a need for a kit to transmit video wirelessly. So here's a look at the CAME-TV 100m Wireless HD Video Kit.
There are systems designed for the home that you can use for a DIY solution, but often this means shorter range and lots of latency. Home kits are usually bulkier, will require you to be innovative about your battery solutions, and you'll need to find a way to mount it to your camera and monitor. Another reason you have to be careful about DIY kits is compatibility with frame rates. The Panasonic GH3 outputs a weird interlaced signal, the Canon 5DM3 and Sony cameras when set to 24p actually output 23.98. The GH4 on the other hand can output 24p, 23.98, and then you have cameras that can output 59.94p. There are a good number of Monitors that can't display these frame rates, and wireless HD Video kits are the same.
If these are reasons that would deter you from DIY home kits, the CAME-TV 100m Wireless Video Kit is clean and simple, easy to operate, minimal parts, and works great for transmitting up to 300 feet+ (depending on conditions). I have tested 1080/24p Cinema mode from the GH4 as well as NTSC 23.98, and 59.94 with no issues.
The more professional solutions are not cheap by any means, but they are designed differently than home solutions. You can find more information about the 100m Wireless HD Video kit on their website: http://www.came-tv.com/100m-wireless-hd-video-transmitter-and-receiver-p-675.html
The CAME-TV CAME-SINGLE Gimbal has hard limits built into the frame to prevent a full 180 rotation. This design protects the wires from tangling up. Most Alexmos gimbals can easily be inverted but typically the camera itself has to remain 'right-side up'. Gimbals like the DJI Ronin or Ronin-M when used in inverted mode actually flip the camera upside down. So in post editing you have to flip your video. After hammering through the software a bit, I managed to find a way to keep the camera fully inverted so I guess it is possible.
At this time I DO NOT SUGGEST attempting to tweak your CAME-SINGLE settings. If you screw up your configuration, it can be a very lengthy process to restore your system due to the new 'encoders' tab. Downloading profiles from the Internet will not guarantee that your system will be restored as 'Encoders' are calibrated individually (per gimbal). Until I find the time to create some type of tutorial on tweaking PID settings, I suggest you keep the default settings as much as possible.
Any Sony A7s owner knows there are a few things this camera needs to get the best possible quality out of it. If you want 4K footage, you simply can't record to internal media, so you'll be adapting a recorder like the Atomos Shogun. The battery life is also terrible, so a decent external power option might be the IndiProtools Power Pods (found here).
With these accessories, you'll need a solid way to mount it to the Sony A7s. There's a number of rigs i've shown in the past, and this is just another great option to consider for your A7s. The CAME-TV Sony A7s Cage is available in a variety of bundles if you need extra items such as a Mattebox, Shoulder Pad, Handles, etc.
This package arrived earlier today. So far i've had the chance to unbox the CAME-MINI 3-Axis Gimbal and balance a Panasonic GH4 + 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens. I've also managed to balance out my Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye lens which is my personal little compact setup with this camera. I'm still working on a video about my first initial impressions, but if you have any questions, now is the time to ask.
The CAME-MINI feels solid, and you'll immediately notice the excellent build quality. To balance a camera on the CAME-MINI, it requires a hex tool for almost every adjustment, and the small frame means this will not work with heavier camera setups. Example: If you're thinking speedbooster and a Canon EF lens with a Sony A7s, this is not going to be the gimbal for you.
On the flip side, if you plan on using this with a GH4 and a small Lumix Lens like the 12-35mm it will work perfectly. Hopefully i'll have a video up after the weekend, but for more information take a look at the CAME-TV.com website (click here).
CAME-TV CAME-MINI 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer