Tag Archives: redrock micro

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Dynamic camera movements can really increase the value of your production, but also requires more man power (and budget). The ideas within this article are based on setting up a second camera on a Video Slider without having a second Camera Operator (completely unattended). This 'B' camera angle offers dynamic movements so that you can cut away to the footage when needed. This is an excellent idea and a few companies are already on the ball with new products (coming soon).

First up is the Kessler Parallax system that offers a mechanical Parallax panning motion to your video head as it tracks left and right. Neat trick, but to get this fully automated you'll have to tie in to the Kessler Oracle system, which not only adds additional cost in the end, but extra equipment to assemble during production. More info at http://www.kessleru.com/2013/09/update-kessler-parallax/

Next we have the RedRock Micro One Man Crew. This motorized slider offers a curved (Parabolic) track to keep your subject in focus as it moves left to right (and back again). Completely silent with options to set a limit on range, and control speeds. The best part is that it is an all in one solution that's quick to set up and quick to store away. Starting at $1500 dollars (seen here), it carries a decent price tag, but it will save you from hiring an extra person to man a sliding camera. After finishing this article, you may come to realize the price to be very reasonable. More info at http://store.redrockmicro.com/OneManCrew

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find-price-button Buy- RedRock Micro One Man Crew Motorized Parabolic Slider

Now i've been asked several times if this was something that could be built at home (a.k.a DIY). Here i'm going to introduce a very basic concept on how i've managed to accomplish the same 'ping-pong' / 'back-forth' effect on a cheap DIY motorized slider kit (seen here) with an additional $10 dollars worth of switches, wiring, and a relay, and absolutely no programming. It's basically a simple and dumb electro-mechanical system.

Unmanned, unattended, looping, automated, it all sounds pretty good. Yet you can see how this basic system fails to provide many of the 'Smart' features of the more expensive products coming to market. On the flip-side, one advantage is that with this basic circuit one can expand this idea outside of just a typical slider. (Yes i'm already working on those ideas).

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First Test - Building the Circuit Automated Looping Motorized Slider

Here's a schematic of my layout. You'll notice how each side of the motor has both negative and positive from the battery, but only one set is active from the DPDT.
Cheesycam-Schematic-Ping-Pong-Motorized-Slider
Click for Larger Version

How It Works:
Two 3 Pin NO+NC Momentary Micro Switches (as found here) at each end reverse the polarity of the motor each time they are triggered.

DIY Slider micro switch 3 pin NO NC
Example of 3 pin NC/NO Momentary Micro Switch

A 12V DPDT Relay (as found here) is either 'Always ON' until the slider reaches the opposite switch which drops power to the relay.

12V DPDT Relay DIY Slider Motion Control
Example of 12V DPDT Relay with Socket Base

In one direction, the relay is technically 'STUCK ON' by way of a tricky little feedback loop in the circuit. To turn the entire slider on or off, i'm just using the switch from the battery. In this example, i'm not using a speed controller, but one can easily be added.

[Update] If you have trouble following the schematic, I have another article with an easier way to create this setup. Others have successfully got their own sliders working. Check out the other article (found here).

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About a week ago, I was in LA and decided to stop by the 2013 DVExpo show. I only hung out for a few hours and had just enough time to chat with a handful of vendors, and here's a couple of videos from the show.

Dracast LED Lighting
First up is Rodney from Dracast showcasing a few products from the Pro Series and Studio Series line of LED Video lights.

Product info: http://Dracast.com

Dracast - 95 CRI Rated LED Lighting

Alzo Digital
Alzo Digital displayed quite a few products, but we only had enough time for Drew to show us the Alzo Bod-A-Boom (found here), an adjustable wearable camera support system.

Product info: http://AlzoDigital.com
Alzo
ALZO Video: Innovative & Affordable DSLR Gear

BeachTek Audio
Harry over at the BeachTek booth shared a a few interesting multi-functional audio products including the new DXA-SLR Ultra which is a preamp that attached directly under a camera and can attach 15mm Rails.

Product info: http://www.beachtek.com

Redrock Micro
Brian with RedRock Micro showed off a few products that can expand the use of their Cobalt Cage for the GoPro Hero cameras. A small adapter can be added to support threaded filters, and an external battery case supports (4) AA batteries to allow for longer run times.

Product info: http://redrockmicro.com

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Anyone who has had to operate a slider during an interview will realize the value this new slider can add to your projects. Best of all, this tool can replace additional overhead on crew to operate that B-cam while adding high production value dynamic camera movements.

Fully motorized, the new Redrock Micro One Man Crew Motorized Slider offers variable speeds, steady consistent movements, and silent operation. The curved track design allows your subject to remain in frame as the camera tracks back and forth automatically. The new RedRock Micro One Man Crew is available now for pre-order (click here).

Redrock One Man Crew
find-price-button Redrock Micro One Man Crew Motorized Slider

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Rigs are often compared to Lego systems, since they can be assembled according to your imagination. It's hard to justify the cost of industry standard 15mm rigs if all you need it for is to stabilize your camera. You can already do this with a few broomsticks and duct tape.

It starts to make more sense once you start to involve mounting audio accessories, lighting accessories, monitors, evf solutions, follow focuses, and matte boxes. Especially since some of those items require rails to mount. Clamps and rods also make it easy to redesign and customize size and shape depending on the individual. You can grow with a starter set of rails, or you can shrink down from a large rig. Not to mention the benefits to traveling. A large set of rods and clamps can be packed up pretty nicely. Lastly, there are many who just want the pure aesthetics of it.

Here's a video from Vimeo member Just Basl Productions showing how 90 degree clamps play a part in mounting accessories to your rig, or for redesigning your rig to accommodate different shooting styles. The RedRock Micro Spud can be used with any standard 15mm Clamp, and runs for just $8 dollars (click here).

Redrock spudRedrock Micro DSLR rig
find-price-button RedRock Micro Spud Adapter

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Steadicam Glidecam
click image for available Steadicam Glidecam gear

Droppin' dollars into Glidecam gear is quite an investment if you're not familiar with how one works. In fact, you might even find that 'flying' a camera is not something you're quite into. If you already own one, maybe your thinking about testing out the arm brace or Vest system? Don't forget that you can save a ton of cash when you rent gear, and the lineup of products available is growing over at Borrow Lenses. One piece of advise is to rent something as early as you can and get some practice in. You don't want to be figuring out how things work 'the day of'. If you're satisfied with the tools, it gives you a better idea on what to invest in.

borrow lenses
click image for a variety of Video gear rentals

The BL company takes your order and ships it 'NetFlix' style along with very simple return instructions when you're done. From RedRock shoulder rigs, to LED Ring lights, to Phillip Bloom's Pocket Dolly, and Glidecam vest systems. There's much to check out at the ever growing site (click here).

borrow-lenses-rent-camera-lens
visit-button Click to Rent Gear from BorrowLenses.com

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cineroid-evfzacuto-EVFredrock-evf
Left to Right - Cineroid EVF, Zacuto EVF, Redrock Micro EVF

Cineroid, Redrock, and Zacuto have all announced EVF (electronic view finder) solutions in the last year to change the very poor unbalanced ergonomics of DSLR video cameras. (Well RedRock doesn't really exist -yet..). The pitch is that you spend a good amount of money on a 3" LCD that can be used as a remote monitor, and then they add on a 'Loupe' to magnify the image and give you a clear image even in the bright sun. Sounds great, i'm totally sold on the idea, but wait. Here's a few new EVF ideas to consider that might make you think a bit differently.

 

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SmallHD DP4 - EVF

DSLR's already have a 3" LCD, so if you're looking to add a remote monitor, why not go a bit bigger? Perhaps SmallHD's newly annouced 4" EVF remote monitor + LCD Loupe. This makes a bit more sense besides being 'of the cheapest' solutions. 4" LCD gives you a bit more usability as a Remote LCD Monitor, and still a very large clear picture when using the Loupe attachment. Why is everyone else stuck on 3"?

Ok so the SmallHD looks like a winner in my book. One of the best displays with highly customizable features makes it a good bang for the buck. Now check out what Cinevate's been up to. The Cyclops is already a ViewFinder Loupe for 3" LCD's, but with the right molds, it can be customized to suit any monitor including Sony's new 5" LCD HDMI monitor. BTW if you're wondering, we did test the Sony LCD on our cameras. It works great and decently priced (for a 5").

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find-price-button Sony 5-Inch External LCD Monitor

cyclops
Cinevate's Cyclops ViewFinder

So if a 3" LCD is just too small to make sense as a remote monitor, or even if a 4" is just a bit undersized, hopefully Cinevate will be able to create adapters for their Cyclops element to mount to a variety of popular LCD's. I wouldn't mind having a Cyclops on my SmallHD DP6 5" LCD.

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Redrock Micro was the first to the scene with the 'microEVF' announcement, but still no word on what's going on with that. Zacuto made an announcement about an EVF (very) shortly after, and here they are showcasing an actual working product with complete specs far far ahead of RRM. Here Steve Weiss drops the much anticipated Zacuto EVF (Electronic View Finder) to show off the durability. Let's hope this really doesn't happen on any of your shoots, especially twice from 12ft. Should it happen, at least you know you have a fighting chance with this sturdy little monitor. The new Z-Finder EVF is listed to start at $675 without a Loupe, up to $1K for the full deal, and a few options in between. The new 3.2" LCD EVF has a resolution of 800x480 and will be powered on Canon LP-E6 batteries or optional 12V external. Said to be shipping next month (May) and Pre-orders are now available on the Zacuto website. Check out more of the features this little EVF is said to provide. I have a feeling with all of the new cameras coming out later this year, they will sell out fast (not just for DSLRs).

Zacuto-ZFinder-EVF
visit-button Pre-order Zacuto Z-Finder EVF

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RedRock Micro adds in another feature for HDMI Pass Through, and claims the estimated price (under $600) still remains. With the HDMI pass through, not only can you still retain use of your ViewFinder, but you can split the feed to external monitors. After this type of announcement with pricing and feature set, and no additional Loupes required, what more could you need in a remote EVF at a higher price? Looks like a winner that I hope to add someday to my tool list. More specs from their website below, when available find it here: http://store.redrockmicro.com/EVF

redrock-micro-evf-pass-through

The microEVF is the first electronic viewfinder designed from the ground up specifically for HDSLR cameras. The microEVF is not just a bulky repurposed LCD monitor: It is designed specifically for the needs of HDSLR emphasizing compact lightweight design, superior power consumption, and incredible affordability.

The popularity of HDSLRs such as the Canon 5D MKII for video and motion photography has skyrocketed in recent years, but the camera body is not ideal for video. The first generation of solutions for monitoring currently available –attaching an optical viewfinder to the back of the camera’s LCD screen –severely limit placement of the viewfinder and camera body and eliminate possibility of using additional monitors for camera assistants or directors. The new Redrock microEVF is an external electronic viewfinder that connects to the camera body and can be placed anywhere for maximum comfort and stability, and can be part of a multi-monitoring solution. The microEVF uses a custom made state-of-the-art backlit LED fitted in an attractive, ergonomic housing.

The microEVF is not limited to HDSLR cameras: it can be used on any video camera that provides HDMI output.

microEVF Features

* Compact, lightweight electronic viewfinder
* High resolution full-color display – greater resolution than the rear LCD on Canon EOS camera bodies
* Fully coated optics
* Adjustable focusing diopter
* Built-in HDMI passthrough for supporting additional monitors
* Oversized soft rubber cinema-style eyecup
* standard HDMI input connector
* Industry-standard 15mm rod pin: Viewfinder positioning infinitely configurable with Redrock support accessories
* Lightweight design requires minimal support - can be mounted from lower rails, top rails, or shoe-mounted rails
* Compatible with any HDSLR or videocamera that provides HDMI out (5D MKII, 7D, T2i, 1D MKIV, Nikon D3s, Nikon D3100, Nikon D7000, Panasonic AF100, etc.)

microEVF Advanced Electronic Assist Features*

* additional features to be announced

microEVF Technical Specifications*

* HDMI connection
* 1.2m total dots
* Backlit LED, very low power requirements
* Internal battery lasts 10+ continuous hours of operation
* Weight: less than 6 ounces

Pricing and availability

* Estimated $595 for the complete EVF - unlike other solutions with hidden costs, does not require additional viewfinder loupe.
* Availability to be announced

*all pricing, specfications, and features are draft and are subject to change without notice

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redrock-micro-evf

Cinema5D's got the scoop on a new Redrock Micro 'Electronic View Finder' specifically designed for HD Video DSLR's. We all new this day was coming, but what I totally didn't expect was the expected price point. Wow, I really hope they can meet those goals, that's just ridiculous pricing for anything RedRock Micro. It looks very functional and I can see myself using that quite a bit. Today we had a crane shot on a roof of a building in broad daylight. It's was about 90 degrees out on a clear day, and we couldn't see crap on the monitor. Having a remote EVF like this running down a jib would have been a perfect solution. This design in remote View Finders via HDMI also means it would be cross brand compatible. Regardless of camera make and model, this should be fairly future proof. Zacuto has also admitted to be working on a new EVF, but so far nothing tangible has hit the web. Even if Zacuto does release an EVF, it would be interesting to see if pricing will be competitive with the new RedRock Micro Electronic Viewfinder. Check out the Cinema5D Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZYW1VwFdHk

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