Tag Archives: gimbal

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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

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Zhiyun Tech Crane-M Gimbal for Small Cameras

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Here's a quick interview video from the 2016 Cinegear Expo with company High Sight. They offer a few different models of Cable Cams. These tools are often easier to use than Drones (not to mention quieter), offers longer run time, can fly through tight spaces, shots are easily repeatable, and pretty much legal to use in most cases Drones are not allowed.

One feature that High Sight Cable Cams offer is a setting A/B end points allowing you to focus on camera tracking and not worrying about reaching the end of your line. Below is a video example produced using the High Sight Cable Cam.

For more information about High Sight Cable Cam products, visit their website http://HighSightCam.com

High Sight Pro Cable Cam
learn-more-button High Sight Cable Cam Products

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As a special request, I used my 9.Solutions clamps, rods, and gags to build a frame for holding the 18" LED Ring Light over @satostudio's DJI Ronin-M Gimbal. Combined with a wide angle Rokinon 14mm lens on a Sony A7sII, this adds that cliche' music video look. Will post samples when we have the final music video done.

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I know a lot of people were waiting for this, and it's finally here - the official DJI OSMO X5 Adapter to (properly) mount that Mirrorless X5 Interchangeable Lens camera.

dji osmo x5 adapterdji osmo x5 camera adapter
learn-more-button DJI OSMO X5 Camera Adapter

This is pretty big news for those looking for the smallest combination of ILC and 3-Axis Gimbal. But with a bigger camera this means shorter battery life. So DJI has also announced an OSMO external battery extender. The battery extender allows for a DC input, or you can get an optional cable to connect directly with one of your DJI Drone batteries.

osmo battery extender dc out external battery djidji osmo external battery extender
learn-more-button DJI OSMO External Batter

And for active shooting to where you need additional stabilization on vertical movements (up/down running, jumping, car mount, etc), they've added a Z-Axis arm accessory that works like a mini Steadicam ISO Arm.

dji osmo vertical stabilization z axis armdji osmo z axis stabilization
learn-more-button DJI OSMO Z-Axis ISO Arm

DJI has certainly thought of just about everything, but the X5 camera isn't cheap (unless you already have an Inpsire1 Pro). The X5 is a micro four-thirds camera and starts at $1699 (here).

dji osmo x5 camera
learn-more-button DJI OSMO X5 Camera

And just in case you're not familiar with the DJI OSMO, here's an introductory video showing the basic version with the entry level X3 camera.

Of course you can improve the OSMO system greatly by adding some of the new accessories and camera mentioned in this article.
dji osmo buy now preorder priceDJI OSMO Price review video sample
VIEW-ITEM DJI OSMO for X3 X5 X5R Camera Gimbals

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Don't count out the Steadicam Jr.! This design might be old, but it's the same basic principle as the latest Merlin going for $800 dollars. I picked up the Steadicam JR as my first Stabilizer for around $118 dollars for my Canon 5D Mark II. Remember these things were designed to fly VHS Cameras (heavy). In fact, the Gimbal that is used on the Steadicam Merlin IS THE EXACT same Gimbal design on the old Steadicam Jr. You can find Steadicam Jr's at auction for dirt cheap if you look hard enough. Check out these Steadicam Jr's on eBay. Click Here.
steadicam jr merlin design

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