Tag Archives: PNCGear

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I still love the look coming out of the BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras, but I'll admit that i'm pretty lazy to take the cameras out as much as I could. The batteries have incredibly short run times, the large camera files eat through SDXC cards, the tiny low resolution screen makes it hard to set focus and practically disappears under bright lights.

For me to solve this, I use an external battery, Atomos Ninja HDMI Recorder, and a better EVF screen. This adds up to a lot of parts that I still need to find a way to mount as ergonomically as possible. Throwing a few pieces together, here's what I ended up with.

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Even though the system was relatively small, it was still somewhat awkward. After shooting for a full day, I realized the style of shooting on one particular project did not require the camera operator to move around within a few feet. So I decided a better way would be to split up the equipment, which makes the camera setup smaller, and now offers the benefit of a remote Director's monitor. Here's a video look on my new setup.

blackmagic pocket cinema camera rig

For the camera i'm using a Tilta BMPCC Cage with a Top Handle, mounted on PVGear.com 8" 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails with some short handles.

pvgear 30 percent off sale
find-price-button PVGear.com 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails


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find-price-button Tilta BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC Cage

For better focus and viewing, we're using the new F&V SpectraHD EVF Monitor mounted to an adjustable EVF Mounting Bracket.

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find-price-button SpectraHD 4 Monitor EVF

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find-price-button SmallRig EVF Holder

The shoulder pad is the flexible PNCGear.com Hybrid Pad which can be folded up to use against the chest, or folded down to use over the shoulder.

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find-price-button PNCGear Hybrid folding Shoulder Chest Pad 15mm Clamp

I'm using the HDMI output from the F&V SpectraHD EVF with a 6 foot HDMI cable over to the Atomos Ninja2 Recorder. This now serves both as a directors monitor and an external recorder which is both cheaper and larger than any SD Cards I can afford.

With the Atomos mounted in a CMR Monitor Yoke, I have room to add a 14V Sony BPU battery to power up the BMPCC for hours and hours.

Sony BMCC BP-U30 BP-U60 battery adapter wall charger BlackMagic CInema CameraBlackMagic Cinema Camera 14V Battery Sony BP-U60 adapter
find-price-button Sony BP-U60 BP-U30 Battery Plate 14V for BlackMagic Cinema Camera

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find-price-button Sony BP-U30 / BPU60 Batteries

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find-price-button Atomos Ninja2 HDMI Recorder

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find-price-button Camera Motion Research Monitor Yoke

I find this setup to be perfect for the type of shooting I do with this camera, but still easy enough to disconnect if I want to run the BMPCC on it's internal battery and record to internal SDXC cards.

You can see in this BTS photo sometimes space is too limited for a tripod, and it's also nice to move the camera around instead of having it completely static. The photo shows the old rig, but I feel my reconfigured setup will now be easier for this type of workflow and shooting style.

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Here's a few first day tests using the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera with @satostudios. The samples may not make sense, but I was sampling different MFT lenses, Canon FD Lenses, and ND Filters for sharpness. Also testing out different ProRes LT vs HQ settings to see how much exposure and color difference there was when I threw a slight color grade on it. There is also a Film Grain Scan thrown over the graded footage so it will purposely appear 'grainy'. I decided that we just have to suck up all the large data and shoot ProRes HQ all the way for the rest of the project.

So while a dual operator setup may not be ideal for live events where you are constantly on the move, this setup can be beneficial when you have time to plan your shots with a crew. It keeps the camera rig small so that it can easily go from handheld, to slider, to tripod, etc. It allows you to work in very confined spaces and fairly ergonomic to switch between low angles or off the shoulder. It may also be easier to pack up your gear into two separate cases without having to break anything down.

Hopefully this may inspire some of you guys to rethink your rigs as well. Remember that this is not limited to the BMPCC. The GH4 can output 4K 10bit from HDMI, Sony A7s requires an external HDMI Recorder for 4K, and even cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III can benefit using recorders that capture to ProRes HQ. Instead of throwing everything on one rig which can quickly get heavy, oversized, and awkward to work with, it may be easier to split up your HDMI recorders, power solutions, second display, and even Audio Recorders off camera.

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If you're shooting video with the Panasonic GH3, I highly advise you take a look at the Fhugen GH3 Video Cage. It's compact enough that you can leave your camera in there the entire time, and will give you more mounting points for adding on those necessary accessories. One question that comes up often is 'How do you add rails to the Fhugen Cage?'.

Although there isn't a dedicated 15mm rod adapter for the cage, the design is straight forward much like the tripod mount under your camera. You can mount it to a variety of baseplates that support 15mm rails (and yes it will be optically centered).

In the example above i'm using the PNCGear MP-2 dual rod baseplate (found here). There are height adjustments on the MP-2 if you need to make your rails slightly higher or lower. The baseplate can be used in any direction, but here I have the logo on the side of the LCD screen. Under the baseplate is enough tripod mounts to add your quick release plate of choice for tripod mounting.

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Fhugen Honu Video Cage for Panasonic GH3 Cameras
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MP-2 Dual 15mm Rail Baseplate
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(2) 15mm Rails for Baseplate

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Officially available to order, the new MogoPod Mark III is an ultra fast monopod stabilizer that only requires a simple twist to extend to various lengths.

A small and medium sized version of the MogoPod Mark III are available depending on the type of use. The larger version can extend to a full 62" inches and collapse down to just 27". An optional swiveling tripod foot can be added for additional stability. The MogoPod Mark III can be used right side up, or upside down to boom a small camera or an external flash for photographers.

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The MogoPod Mark III "S" is a smaller version that extends to a max height of 46" inches and collapses down to just 20" inches. Doesn't sound like enough height, until you match it up with the optional MogoCrane Belt System. The MogoPod Mark III "S" attaches to the MogoCrane Belt System transferring the camera weight to the operator's hips and with a swiveling base can be used in a 'Crane-Like' fashion. The MogoCrane + Mogopod Mark III "S" combination is probably the setup most run-n-gun Videographers will appeal to for it's stability flexibility to achieve creative shots.

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Additional information about the new MogoPod Mark III and MogoCrane Belt System can be found at the product listing page with http://PNCGear.com.

MogoPod Mark III
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MogoCrane MogoPod Tripod Base Foot

PNCGear MogoPod MogoCrane Stabilizer
find-price-button MogoPod Mark III Versatile Monopod Stabilizer System

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If you didn't catch the newsletter, the PNC VF-4 LCD ViewFinder and the VF-4 Extension Bracket Bundle is currently on sale for just $99.99 / $109.99. I believe this is the lowest price it has been since it was introduced a few months ago.

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For more information about the PNC VF-4 LCD ViewFinder, check out http://PNCGear.com

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