Tag Archives: evf

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Although there were many new cameras showcased at NAB 2014, I still think the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera stands strong capable of shooting RAW video direct to SD Cards for under $1K. A camera I feel i'll still be working with quite a bit this year. It was especially great to see Redrock Micro alleviate some of the ergonomic hurdles with their new RetroFlex LCD ViewFinder + Cage + RunStop Video Remote Handle.

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find-price-button BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera - In Stock

With the optional top shoe clamp, you can add 15mm rails. With the optional HDMI lock added to the cage you can prevent accidental disconnections or damage to ports on the BMPCC.

Redrock Micro shoe clamp 15mm rails  Redrock RetroFlex HDMI Clamp

This kit is definitely at the top of my list once it becomes available. So far the RetroFlex Rig is the only BMPCC cage on the market with seamless integration with an LCD Viewfinder (something I feel is a necessity with the BMPCC). If Redrock Micro finds a way to port this retro stylish viewfinder + cage + handle kit over to other camera bodies (like GH4 / Sony A7), this could be an entirely new line for them.

More information about the Redrock Micro RetroFlex can be found at the website http://RedrockMicro.com.

Redrock Micro RetroFlex Rig LCD Viewfinder Cage BlackMagic Pocket Cinema BMPCC

NAB 2014 Coverage Sponsors

Camera Motion Research Came_80x80banner Varavon fvlighting

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A solid rig starts with a solid foundation. If you're shooting with the Canon EOS C100, C300, or C500 Shape has introduced a new baseplate system. Here's a video overview of their new product along with a new EVF mount.

Product Overview
Made specifically for the Canon EOS C100, C300, C500 cameras, the new Shape baseplate provides a smaller, lighter setup solution expandable to a more elaborate setup.

Features a pair of 15mm rods that are 12” long through the length of the baseplate Attaches underneath the camera with 4 x M4 screws (included) OR with 3/8” 16 and 1/4” 20 screws (included). SHAPE ratchet keys located on the both sides of the BASE PLATE can be tighten of loosen quickly to reposition the 12" 15mm rods.

Can be transformed into a full shoulder rig or can be used as a studio baseplate. Shape recommends the PAPARAZZI I HANDLE ROD BLOC for fixations such as EVF, external monitors, microphone, etc. For more information visit http://www.ShapeWLB.com

C100 C300 C500 Shape Baseplate Shape C100 C300 C500 Rig 1 shapewlv canon eos cs100 c300 c500 baseplate

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Let me start off by apologizing for sooo many BMPCC posts in the last week, but for the record i'm just as tired blogging about the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera as I am hearing about it. The reason I had to get all of this information out quickly is because yesterday I had to send the little guy back to the www.dvestore.com, and not many other people will have this camera in the coming months.

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BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera w/ Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 IS - photo credit Dion Wong

So this should be the last 'video review' you'll get from me for a while. In this video I thought about doing a wrap up and summary of things you already knew and some things you probably didn't know about the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

There will of course be many occasions (at least for me) where ProRes and RAW are just overkill for storage and post work, so other small cameras like the Panasonic GH3 (sale ends in two weeks BTW) or Canon 5D Mark III are more beneficial offering high quality with smaller file sizes and longer battery life. The BMPC camera also does not double duty as a fast stills camera, so many will still end up carrying a second body around just for that reason.

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Keiko Alingas w/ @GearAddix BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera Shoot - photo credit Dion Wong

I'm not saying this isn't a a great camera, in fact i'm still excited for my Pocket Cinema Cameras to arrive. I think the size, quality, features, and price of this camera make it a tool that many professionals would love to have available to them. If you can afford the BPMC and the few items it requires to work smoothly, then by all means go for it. If they unlock the RAW features, this camera will be (dare I say) 'a game changer'. I think i'll end this article here since most of my thoughts are already added in the video (above).

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find-price-button BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera - DVEStore Preorder

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras Currently Available on eBay



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Here's a few tips some of you may want to prepare for so that you can begin shooting with your brand new BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera the day it arrives.

#1 - Get a damn fast SDHC or SDXC card. None of the cards that work flawlessly on my Canon DSLRs were even detected. The few speedy cards I was able to grab from local retailers just ended up with dropped frames. We're just talking ProRes here, imagine when RAW is unlocked. Tomorrow I should receive a couple of Sandisk Extreme Pro cards (recommended in the user manual) for my weekend project.

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find-price-button Sandisk Extreme Pro SD Media Card

#2 - Keep in mind you cannot format SD cards from the camera itself. If you show up at a shoot with a full SD Card, there's no way to delete the files. Keep a laptop with SD card reader handy to format to exFAT and delete any old projects. Don't think you can just pop it into your other camera to delete. The HFS+ or exFAT file system isn't recognized in most other cameras.

#3 - The LCD screen on this camera (not touch screen) may not be suffice for working outdoors. If you plan to use a monitor or EVF, you need a rare micro HDMI cable (d type). I already have plans to use my Cineroid Retina EVF

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find-price-button Cineroid Retina EVF LCD Viewfinder

#4 - The battery drains very quickly on this pocket camera. These batteries are the same for the Nikon J1, inexpensive, but you still need an optional charging station so you don't keep your camera tethered. The other option is an external 12V power source for very long projects where swapping batteries could be a problem.

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find-price-button EN-EL20 Battery / Charger

#5 - Even my small Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 or 35-100mm F/2.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses fit too snugly on the camera if I have my 501PL plate mounted underneath. Lens adapters will be worse, so you'll need a platform, rig, cage, or something to raise the body up if you're planning to use popular Fluid Heads. I'm using the Fhugen GH3 cage right now since it's the smallest cage in my arsenal (no battery door access).

Rokinon Lens BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera
There's room to slide the plate back and forth, but other lens combinations may not be so forgiving

#6 - Expect no audio meters from the camera itself. I think at this point the easiest method is to just work an external recorder.

Finally just a quick note on using an HDMI recorder. I'm not sure if this will yield any difference in quality, but if there is no degradation, an HDMI recorder could be a cheaper solution for storage media, solves limitations on long projects, and is a fast way to hand off video files to your editor. The Atomos Ninja 2, one of the affordable HDMI recorders on the market, is capable of recording from the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. You can record the stream without actually recording from the BMPC, or you can just hit record on both units for dual recording (a good backup solution for critical projects).

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find-price-button Atomos Ninja 2 HDMI Recorder

I'll continue to add notes about the things i'm running into, and I'll be uploading sample ProRes files from the camera very soon. Make sure to follow me on Twitter, and stay tuned to the blog. Remember, if you're still looking to get on a short list to get this camera early, check in with DVEStore.com

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find-price-button BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera
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Express35-Inline-Shoulder-RigExpress35 shoulder rig

Express35 knocks $100 dollars off the Inline Shoulder Rig today. The inline rig gives you room to work with a monitor or EVF off to the side while keeping the majority of the weight closer to your shoulder instead of way out in front of you (which can wear out your arms). The 8" rods on this rig will give you room to work with a Follow Focus or Matte Box. I believe there may be some discounts available for the optional top handle and tripod mount if you're looking to build up a bit. [Thanks Chris] Find more information about Express35 products at http://express35.com.

Express35 Inline Shoulder Rig
Click image to visit Express35.com

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smallhd-dp4

Finally! The focus assist on the SmallHD DP4 caused the screen to go fairly dark, and although you could see the focus assist lines, you couldn't really see what you were focusing on! They made the feature much better in the DP6 through a recent firmware update, and now they've made it available for the smaller DP4. Information below, but as usual check with the SmallHD website for any known issues about upgrading your firmware.

SmallHD is happy to announce the release of DP4 Firmware Update V1.2.
This is our latest effort to add more value to your investment and provide the tools to help you do your job even better.

You can find the Firmware Update Instructions for the DP4 here:
http://www.smallhd.com/s.nl/ctype.KB/it.I/id.8261/KB.1407/.f?category=48

DP4 Firmware V1.2:
http://www.smallhd.com/DP4_Firmware/SMALLHD_DP4_OSV1_2.bin

New Features and Fixes
* Focus Assist + has been added to replace Focus Assist (Menu>Advanced>Focus Assist) While the old Focus Assist worked well to achieve critical focus, it darkened the image beyond comfortable viewing levels. The new “Focus Assist+” enhances the in-focus areas even more while retaining the image much more than the original Focus Assist. This is an excellent new tool to help you achieve accurate focus quickly and efficiently.
* Improved accuracy of the Nikon Preset (Preset>N DSLR REC) Enjoy the benefits of a full screen image while recording with your Nikon camera.
* Custom Scales will now be saved after using 1:1 Mapping (Menu>Advanced>Custom Scale. Menu>Advanced>1:1 Mapping) Use 1:1 Mapping confidently knowing that the Custom Scale settings that you have set will still be there where you are done.
* Menu Flip function fixed (Menu>System>Menu Flip)

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[Update] Here's a link to the unboxing:
DP4 EVF Review
http://cheesycam.com/smallhd-dp4-evf-unboxing/

If you didn't catch the news about the SmallHD DP4 EVFofficially on sale (as of Yesterday), then you might still have a chance. Limited supply on this item. No video reviews online just yet, except for the brief demos from NAB2011 and those were still in Prototype stages. Let's see how the official ones comes out. Other EVFs claim to be two products in one, but the DP4-EVF is larger at 4" which makes it much better to use as a small external monitor, while still providing a flip up loupe for magnified viewing. Or you can just purchase the DP4 if all you need is a small lightweight HDMI monitor. You can find more information about the new SmallHD DP4-EVF while they are available (click here).

Screen shot 2011-07-13 at 10.27.20 PM

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EVF-Snap-Zacuto
find-price-button Zacuto EVF Snap Viewfinder

Zacuto's got one of the sweetest EVFs (electronic viewfinders) available on the market. You could buy the 3" HDMI EVF alone which will save you a few hundred dollars, but of course, what good is the EVF if you don't have the Z-Finder Loupe to match? Having to invest in a Z-Finder loupe will run the bill up several more hundreds of dollars. According to Cheesycam reader Ray, another popular ViewFinder works fine.

Many people who couldn't afford the real Z-Finder opted in for the Seagull. If you already own the Seagull ViewFinder, they fit perfectly onto Zacuto Frames. One benefit from this clever tip is that you could buy these Z-FRM frames for about $5.00 dollars to use as as spare frames with your Seagull, or if you need to add a frame to another camera. Another benefit of course is that it should mount directly to Zacuto's HDMI EVF either 'Snap' or 'Flip' versions, saving you a few hundred dollars. I'm pretty sure the more popular VF Prime DSLR LCD falls into this same category too. [Thanks Ray]

You can find these view finders under a few different names like 'VF Prime' or Seagull View Finder. Can be found on eBay here: (click here)

Or also Available on Amazon here:
VF Prime
find-price-button VF Prime DSLR Camera LCD Viewfinder for 3" LCD

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So I tested some playback on the GH2 with this mini-lcd, but that wasn't the test I was hoping for when I first got this LCD. The Panasonic GH2 will only output in recording mode through the HDMI. It can only 'playback' through Composite. The Canon cameras can output from Composite, so I brought in the AV cables that are provided in the box. It's great to see that the LCD actually scales the input properly too. Something else that's pretty cool. When the Canon is displaying the Live View, it doesn't use the entire 3.5" LCD. Why is that cool? Because I threw on one of those magnetic frames for my LCDVF for 3" LCD's and it's just about a perfect fit over the displayed image.

DIY-EVF (3 of 6)DIY-EVF (4 of 6)

The tests with the Canon 60D are awesome, and much more than I expected from a sub $26.00 dollar LCD. It's definitely usuable for my DIY EVF ( Electronic View Finder ) Project. Might not be compared to other EVF's (coming) on the market, but for under $26.00 dollars, i'm not complaining. It does what I need it to do for now. My plan now is to mount a 1/4x20 Nut to the rear of the LCD and use a Friction Arm to position it wherever I want. [Update] Did it.

DIY-EVF

This should also work perfectly with my GoPro HD camera as well, since the GoPro lacks it's own LCD. Here's another cool little kicker, since you're all wondering how it's powered up. As I expected, it doesn't even require 12Volts to run. I attached it to a simple 9Volt battery. Yes 9 volt battery people, that's all it takes to power this bad boy up. One thing I was noticing though is that the exposure wasn't as good with the 9 Volt battery. I think even though it turns on, it's under powered and causes the display not to look as good as it can be.

DIY-EVF (1 of 6)

If you're searching for this mini monitor too, this is how the LCD looks (below). It's a bit confusing since resolution is listed differently depending on the auction, but I think they are all the same. It's a 3.5" LCD with Composite input. If you see one like this, it's probably it. More to come with these Mini-LCD's from Cheesycam for sure.....

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find-price-button Mini LCD Monitor with 960×480 Pixels

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