Tag Archives: satostudios

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Sliders are great, but track systems will offer you more travel. Gimbals are great systems to move the camera long distances, but is not ideal when your movement has to be repeated. Using a track dolly system will let you take advantage of long lenses and shallow depth of field without having to worry about your subject falling out of frame or out of focus. It's a more controllable and predictable tool that offers high production value that any operator can use without much practice or experience. Every shooter should have access to a good tripod track dolly system.

Recently we were able to try on CAME-TV's new Tripod Track Dolly system that allows you to perform curved tracking shots or straight linear tracking shots. The system is unique as it uses strong Magnets to combine the rails together making it fast and easy to setup - no tools.

Anytime you join tracks, you have to worry about the seams not aligning and causing a bump in tracking. But the Magnetic rails matched up perfectly, and the tripod dolly with 3 swiveling casters and a total of 12 smooth bearing wheels gave us extremely smooth footage.

The kit comes packed neat in a carrying case and is extremely lightweight. The base kit comes with a set of curved rails and straight rails. You can combine all of the the tracks in the kit and even purchase additional tracks to make up more variety. This system can work on slightly textured surfaces, but works best on level ground.

The CAME-TV Tripod Dolly and Magnetic Track System is made with quality, and definitely affordable compared to other similar systems. The fact that it comes with both curved and linear rails allows you to get creative right out of the base package. For more information, check out the product page at http://CAME-TV.com (here).

came-tv tripod magnetic track dolly
Learn-More-sm CAME-TV Tripod Dolly and Magnetic Track System

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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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Yesterday I met up with SatoStudios to check out the new DJI Ronin Gimbal, so I decided to bring out the Varavon Birdycam as well to shoot a few BTS clips. This footage is shot with a GH4 camera and although I find this footage to be incredibly smooth, I believe that I will have to tune up some of the PID settings to get best results on this super lightweight setup.

What you see in the video is still using the existing profile that was shipped with the unit, but it may be time to dig a little deeper. Since the Varavon uses the same Alexmos 32 bit software as the other gimbals, I can create my own custom settings. [BTW, you should not attempt this unless you know what you are doing].


varavon birdycam pre-order
find-price-button Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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Last weekend, SatoStudios let me tag along out to a small car meet. They wanted to test out the CAME 7000 3 Axis gimbal Stabilizer I had built a few months ago. As a first time operator of this gimbal, here's a bit of the BTS footage Mike was able to pull off with his 5D Mark III + Canon 16-35mm.

Throughout the day the gimbal had it's share of issues, but when it was time to work it performed very well. If you notice from the video, it was fairly windy that day and the unit was not prone to swaying. Talking to Mike after the show, he's definitely sold on what gimbals can offer, but there are many quirks you have to be comfortable with.

DIY 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 7000 Calibrate Alexmos CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Instruction Setup Program Software Cheesycam
find-price-button CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

If you're working with one camera + lens combo, you're good. If you have to do lens changes throughout the day, it takes time to rebalance. It's also not something you can just disassemble and throw in a backpack. When you're not actively shooting with it, you have to be mindful about carrying it around. It's also helpful to have an extra pair of hands (assistant) or a place to dock the Gimbal, as you physically can't hold the stabilizer while performing maintenance.

I'm definitely going to install an ON/OFF switch, as having to disconnect the battery throughout the day quickly became annoying. I'm also going to find the slimmest QR adapter available as changing camera batteries took time as we had to remount and rebalance.

So as a quick summary, gimbals are great and anyone who uses it for the first time will immediately be impressed. I will continue to use gimbals, and hopefully upgrade to more expensive gimbal systems as they become available. It's a different tool that can do what other tools can't, but you should not consider this a replacement for every other stabilizer, jib, or dolly system on the market. If you're thinking about building one, here's my first impressions article: http://cheesycam.com/came-7000-3-axis-gimbal-first-impression-and-demo-video/

There's more footage from the gimbal that is yet to be released from the show, but you can also follow via instagram @satostudios

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instagram logoFollow @SatoStudios via Instagram

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