Tag Archives: GearAddix

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We just got back from NAB2105 and one of the hottest cameras on the floor was the Sony PXW-FS7 a.k.a FS7. It seemed every single booth had it on display along side of their products to showcase their gear at it's best. This is certainly a camera that is making huge waves throughout the industry.

Prior to NAB, I borrowed a Sony FS7 from SatoStudios and teamed up with Keiko & Roland from GearAddix to test drive the amazing 180fps feature shooting entirely in SLOG-2. The video samples finally made it back from editing, and we're quite pleased with the results. Enjoy this short piece.

The Sony PXW-FS7 rocks a Super 35 Sized CMOS Sensor with Sony E-Mount. Offers up UHD (4K) Up to 60 FPS, HD Up to 180 FPS. The FS7 can record to high quality XAVC-I Up to 600 Mb/s and holds Dual XQD Memory Card Slots. If you want even more quality and power, you can mount up the (optional) Extension unit for 12-bit 4K/2K RAW Data Output and up to 240fps to an external recorder. That's practically an entirely new camera with those added features.

Sony FS7 extension RAW
find-price-button Sony FS7 Extension Unit 12 Bit RAW

Sure it's an investment up front but consider that a Sony A7s + Atomos Shogun Recorder will already run you over $4500 dollars just to get a bit of that 4K goodness. Yet you're still far from the framerate, resolution, built in ND Filters, audio inputs, and ergonomic design the FS7 offers. Stripped down, the FS7 can be almost as compact as a Canon C100. For the run-gun traveling shooter who wants to step up from a DSLR body, the Sony FS7 is a camera to keep your eyes on, and it appears the industry seems to agree. Available now via B&H (click here).

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find-price-button Sony PWX-FS7 4K XDCAM Super 35 Camera System

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For those familiar with the 18" CFL Ring Light (especially those of you who have used it in production), you'll get a kick out this recent product. This new ePhoto R-640 LED Light takes the familiar form factor of the 18" CFL but replaces it with 640 High CRI LED Bulbs.

While I'm a big fan of the 18" CFL (compact fluorescent) version, it always needed to be plugged in to an AC wall outlet (no DC battery option). Also the fragile CFL bulb made it queestionable to travel with and use on location. This new R-640 LED Ring Light solves those issues by offering up long lasting durable LED bulbs and a 14V-15V DC input for optional battery power.

R640 LED Ring Light Test2 R640 LED Ring Light Test1 R640 LED Ring Light Test3
LED tests courtesy of Allied Scientific Pro Lighting Passport

The R-640 claims to use high quality LED bulbs, and our tests with the AlliedScientific Lighting Passport LED Light Meter showed excellent results. Tested at a distance of 3 Feet the R640 delivered a CRI rating of 95 / over 1670 LUX [155 FC] / and a color temp of 5400K. Not just a unique form factor that will allow for creative use, but also a great light at a great price, and for more information visit the product page (click here).

cn-r640-ringlight-for-dslr-filmmaking-1ePhoto r640 cn640 led video lightephoto led video ring light
find-price-button ePhoto R-640 18" LED Video Continous Ring LIght

If it's out of stock, here's a second link available on eBay (click here)

ePhoto R640 LED Video Lightcn-r640-ringlight-for-dslr-filmmaking-1ePhoto r640 cn640 led video light
find-price-button ePhoto R640 LED Video Ring Light

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One way to make your videos a little more interesting is to simply move the camera. Although that sounds easy, performing smooth camera movements handheld can be very tricky. While there are many tools available to do this, nothing is more simple, straightforward, or as easy to operate than a Video Slider. Here's a look at the new 'Duzi', which is the latest, most affordable, and lightest video slider coming out of the Cinevate product line.

On the surface, the Cinevate Duzi is simple, but that's primarily what we want. Something easy to setup, easy to move around, and doesn't get in the way when it's time to shoot. The Duzi is crafted from CNC machined aluminum and stainless steel, with the exception of the solid 19mm Carbon Rods.

Cinevate Duzi Cheesycam Review
find-price-button Cinevate Duzi Portable Video Camera Slider

The carbon rods not only shed weight, but offer near silent operation when tracking with 8 precision roller bearings. These carbon rods never need to be oiled, and the open design makes it easy to clean and wipe down no matter what conditions you take the Duzi into. Duzi's end blocks offer 1/4-20 threaded holes and 5/8 inch thru holes to support dual stands. A middle cheese plate below the Duzi allows tripod mounting. For additional information, check out the Cinevate Duzi product page: http://www.cinevate.com/store2/camera-movement/camera-sliders/duzi-camera-slider.html

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In this article, Keiko (of GearAddix) has helped put together a short video review of the new Rokinon 300mm F/6.3 Mirror Lens for micro-four thirds camera systems [Thanks Keiko]. If you're looking for that long zoom on a budget, this new mirror lens from Rokinon is a great option, and yes it will work on a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema camera as well.

Unlike traditional glass element lenses, the incoming light is reflected by a main mirror on the back towards a secondary mirror (located in the front), and back again towards the camera's sensor. By folding the light, these lenses can offer incredible distance while staying very compact and especially very lightweight.

cheesycam-diagram-how-mirror-lenses-work-rokinon-300mm

Unfortunately this design also has a few disadvantages such as aperture control. This Rokinon 300mm mirror lens has a fixed F/6.3. This is the reason why an ND filter was required on an especially bright day. I guess that's not too much of a problem, as many DSLR shooters tend to carry ND filters nowadays.

B+W Static ND Filter Mirror Lens
find-price-button B+W Static ND Filter
Tip: At this distance static ND filters are best to retain sharpness

Also, sharpness and contrast are typically just mediocre with mirror lenses, but i'm very surprised at how much this new Rokinon 300mm mirror lens retains. They've done a great job creating a very compact MFT lens that still retains sharpness, detail, color, and contrast.

Another prominent tell-tale sign of a Mirror Lens is an odd donut-like effect (white rings) that show up on out-of-focus highlights. While lenses with an aperture blade are capable of producing perfectly round highlights, Mirror lenses will create a round donut-like out of focus highlight as seen in the image below.

mirror-lens-donut-bokeh-highlight

For a stylized effect there are groups who find this aesthetically interesting, when used with portraits (see example photos here).

Due to it's fixed aperture of F/6.3 optimal conditions are preferred (lots of light), and keep in mind these lenses do not offer image stabilization. Still, maybe not so much of a problem as many of today's M43 cameras are starting to add Image Stabilization at the sensor level.

Mirror lenses have been around for years, and are available in focal lengths past 1600mm. The most expensive of which still falls under just $300 bucks. That's a pretty amazing price for the distance you get, but obviously you have to consider if those mirror-lens 'differences' work for you. Find a few options below.

cheesycam mirror lens review demo video sample Rokinonrokinon-300mmRokinon Mirror Lens Canon NikonRokinon mirror lens reviewRokinon Mirror Lenses for Canon Nikon M43 mFT
find-price-button Variety of Rokinon Mirror Lenses - via eBay

So now that you've checked out this video review, and some of the other mirror lens image samples (found here), what do you guys think about Rokinon's latest 300mm F/6.3 Mirror Lens for Micro Four Thirds? Leave your comments below.

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If you caught my recent video shot entirely on the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you'll probably find quite a few wide angle shots. That's because I tried very hard to include only native MFT lenses especially the Panasonic 7-14mm & Rokinon 8mm Fisheye.

For anyone looking to adapt non-MFT Lenses (without a speed booster) to the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, here's what it will look like through a full frame Canon 5D Mark II, Panasonic GH3, and BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

[Note] In the field of view test, some of the images may appear soft, this is not the fault of the camera. The Rokinon 85mm on a BMPC will be at an approximate 240mm focal distance, and with a Variable ND filter on the lens, things go soft. It's best to use good quality static ND Filters.

In other parts of the video a Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 was used throwing it somewhere close to the 600mm focal range. Since an ND Filter was not used, results were much sharper from the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Judging from the distance of the 5D Mark II, the tripod was quite a distance away. Using the Rokinon 35mm and 85mm lenses, you can tell there is quite a crop factor to the smaller BMPC - more than you would get from a GH3. The BMPC has even more crop than from the original BlackMagic Cinema Camera. That's something to keep in mind if you plan to work in tight spaces. Invest in the right glass, or look for a Speed Booster / Focal Reducer (found here on eBay).

Products Used

Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 3
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 2
Panasonic GH3
Canon vs GH3 vs BlackMagic Pocket cinema 1
BlackMagic Pocket Cinema
Rokinon 35mm GH3 Pocket Cinema BlackMagic Canon 5D Mark II III
Rokinon 35mm
Rokinon 85mm GH3 Pocket Cinema BlackMagic Canon 5D Mark II III
Rokinon 85mm

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So if you've been following, I mentioned I had planned a trip this weekend to shoot some BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera video samples with a small crew. The guys who will be making this long journey and traveling up to the mountains with me are the production crew for GearAddix. I passed over the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera over so that they can get familiar with it before our trip, and they've found that the Sony SDHC UHS-1 media cards will work fine for ProRes video recording.

I think a safe bet is if your card can sustain a minumum of 30MB/s write speeds, it should work fine to record ProRes. If you want to test your cards, you can download the FREE BlackMagic Disk Speed Test app for your computer (here).

blackmagic spee test

Here's a few screen grabs testing Transcend SDXC, Patriot EP Pro, and the Sony SDHC UHS-1. Click any of the images for an exploded view of the speed ratings.

Transcend-SDXC-Class10
Transcend SDXC Class 10
Patriot EP Pro
Patriot EP Pro SDXC
Sony-SDHC-UHS-1
Sony SDHC UHS-1

Well good to know that is one other option for a speedy and more affordable SDHC media card for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. [Thanks GearAddix] You can find the Sony SDHC UHS-1 media cards in over on Amazon (click here).
71PWf1wEUvL._SL1200_71MNzlC4oQL._SL1200_71BUhd-XNbL._SL1200_
find-price-button Sony SDHC Class 10 UHS-1

Download ProRes Video Sample
The team has also uploaded an unedited 10 second ProRes sample from the camera (240MB). If you decide to try it out, I suggest pushing the color saturation, shadows, mids, highs and overall exposure values. I did my own quick version pushing saturation and adding contrast here: https://vimeo.com/72468406

You can find the download link at the GearAddix.com website.

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Last year there was an interesting article on how Time Magazine asked 5 photographers to cover the effects of Hurricane Sandy sharing it immediately on Instagram. The goal was to get the photos out to the public as quickly as possible. There are real benefits to instant sharing, but today's SmartPhones are still very limited and lack a decent zoom lens or manual exposure settings.

Long before Hurricane Sandy, Samsung was already on track and was the first to release an samsung_galaxycam_4 Android based Hybrid Galaxy Camera with an Image Stabilized 21x zoom, and the option to subscribe to a mobile cellular plan (although you can't make calls on it) for instant sharing. This probably could have come in handy for that particular Time Magazine project.


Samsung Galaxy Camera Review - GearAddix.com

Without a mobile data plan, the samsung_galaxycam_4 Samsung Galaxy Camera can connect to any Wi-Fi network. Shoot 1080p HD Video, edit directly on the Android platform, and instantly upload to YouTube. Oddly, as an android system you can still download from the Play Store a variety of apps, games, browse the web, sync to DropBox, connect to Google Drive, send Emails, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.

I find the merge between high quality cameras and smartphones interesting, and I think there is a place for distribution speed in everyday life as well as in Journalism. Hopefully we see more products this year from other companies like the Galaxy Hybrid Camera. For more information check out the Samsung Galaxy Camera via Amazon (click here).

Samsung Galaxy CameraSamsung Galaxy Black Camerasamsung_galaxycam_4
find-price-button Samsung Galaxy Camera Android OS, v4.1 (Jelly Bean)

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A few months ago, Satechi released a bluetooth camera remote trigger that can add additional features your DSLR camera may lack. Here's a fun video from the GearAddix team that shows a bit more about the Satechi Remote in use.

I originally thought this could render your phone useless while it's controlling the camera, but one thing noted in the video (above) is that the app can continue to control the camera even while texting, tweeting, reading emails, surfing the web, etc.

The Satechi Smart Trigger is a fully functional wireless timer remote designed to be controlled from your iPhone or iPad. Use the Smart Trigger app to control your DSLR camera with three unique shooting modes: REGULAR (basic wireless remote), MANUAL SHOT (long exposure), or TIMED SHOT
(techniques like time-lapses).

The Satechi Smart Trigger can be found via Amazon (Click Here)
Satechi BlueTooth Smart Trigger
find-price-button Satechi Bluetooth Wireless Timer Remote For DSLR

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