Richard Sisk

I am a photographer, in particular since 1993 a full time photographer. I have specialized in landscapes and city skylines. It has been an interesting journey that has taken me all around our great country. I have visited many historic sites and most of our magnificent cities. One thing that has struck me has been the kindness and helpful spirit of the many people I’ve met along the way. It has been an opportunity to learn a great deal about many remarkable locations and people. I was able to travel a remote portion of the Oregon Trail in Idaho. I visited the source of the Missouri River in Montana, and reached down to taste the cold, crystal clear water, as Meriwether Lewis had done 200 years earlier. A few months later I found his final resting place along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. There have been many moving moments during this long journey. However, the wonderful and kind people of America have been the greatest source of inspiration throughout my travels.

I Bought the New iPad Pro So You Don’t Have To

 Apple, Gear  Comments Off on I Bought the New iPad Pro So You Don’t Have To
Nov 132018
 

I’m no stranger to the iPad. In fact, it once caused me not to get a job at an Apple store shortly after college. I was asked in an interview, “What do you think of the new iPad,” and I answered honestly (mistake number one in a job interview I would learn).

“I’m not sure how I feel about it, it doesn’t really do what I would want it to do.”

I didn’t get a call back for a second interview. Little did I know this would be the start of my rocky relationships with tablets.

In 2012, I bought refurbished a 32GB “New iPad.” With its retina screen, I told myself it would be the perfect portfolio alternative, and I could make myself look so cool by bringing a digital device to a client meeting, instead of a printed book.

“Who prints photos anymore? Clients will see me as cutting edge!”

That device currently is sitting on the floor next to my bed, unable to be updated past iOS 9, with a dead battery. I rarely use it anymore because of how slow it has become. And it certainly didn’t win me any clients. I think I may have used it professionally once or twice to have someone digitally sign a contract or a model release.

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This $23,000 Nikon DSLR Kit on the ISS Had a Delivery Fee of $130,000+

 Gear  Comments Off on This $23,000 Nikon DSLR Kit on the ISS Had a Delivery Fee of $130,000+
Nov 132018
 

The astronauts onboard the International Space Station get new cameras delivered from time to time — 10 Nikon D5s arrived in late 2017 after NASA ordered 55 of them. But did you know that it’s extremely expensive to stock the ISS astronauts’ camera arsenal? That camera kit you see above cost at least $150,000 to send to the space station.

This past weekend, German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst Tweeted photos of himself giving Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev a haircut in the Zvezda Service Module. That service module is where the station’s Nikon gear is mounted to the walls, so Gerst’s photos provide the latest look at what camera gear the astronauts are shooting with.

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Win $9000 Worth of Filmmaking Gear with Syrp, Renan Ozturk & cinema5D

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Win $9000 Worth of Filmmaking Gear with Syrp, Renan Ozturk & cinema5D
Nov 122018
 

Take part in a draw to win $9000 worth of camera gear! Find out how – the first live prize draw is happening very soon in the YouTube live stream above. 

Together with Syrp, Manfrotto and Freefly we are giving you a chance to win a massive amount of kit.
We’re giving away 5 prizes and that means more chances for you to win! All prizes are based around Renan Ozturk’s camera gear – learn more about him and his adventures by clicking here!

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10 Years of Micro Four Thirds: A Look Back at the Panasonic Lumix G1, the Camera That Started It All

 Gear  Comments Off on 10 Years of Micro Four Thirds: A Look Back at the Panasonic Lumix G1, the Camera That Started It All
Nov 122018
 

In 2008, Olympus was teetering on the edge of photographic irrelevance, and Panasonic wasn’t a serious player in the camera industry. All that changed, however, when the latter launched a brand new mirrorless interchangeable lens system, dubbed Micro Four Thirds, with the Panasonic Lumix G1, released towards the end of that year.

While the G1 and Micro Four Thirds was technically not the first mirrorless camera (that would be the Epson R-D1), one could consider it the Ford Model T of this style of camera, a sort of mirrorless for the masses.

The system was formed as a partnership with Olympus, with both companies producing cameras and lenses that worked with one another (others, such as Blackmagic and whatever was left of Kodak would join later). The system itself was a miniaturization of the existing Four Thirds standard, a format championed by Olympus that ran a distant third to the APS-C and full-frame sensor sizes popularized by the two largest camera manufacturers, Canon and Nikon. The sensor size is physically smaller, about half the size of a full-frame camera such as a Canon 5D Mark IV, but Olympus and Panasonic bet that size, weight, and cost advantages, as well as an open format for other companies to adapt and use in their cameras would outweigh the physical disadvantages inherent in a smaller sensor, such as a noisier image.

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Canon and Nikon Are Approaching the Mirrorless Market From Opposite Sides, but Who Is Right?

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon and Nikon Are Approaching the Mirrorless Market From Opposite Sides, but Who Is Right?
Nov 112018
 

With Photokina behind us and the unprecedented amount of new cameras and lenses announced over the past few months, we’ve had some time to let the dust settle, and there is something very interesting about just how differently Canon and Nikon are approaching the full frame mirrorless camera market. The question is: who is right?

Over the past few months, both Canon and Nikon have released their first full frame mirrorless cameras, Canon with the EOS R and Nikon with the Z7. Canon markets the EOS R as a sort of prosumer/enthusiast-level camera along the lines of the 6D Mark II and priced to match at $2,300 for the body — very similar to the 6D Mark II’s price on release. This contrasts the Nikon Z7, which is being touted as a sort of mirrorless D850, and its $3,400 price tag suits this comparison very well.

While two cameras having different prices isn’t interesting, when we take a deeper look into their currently available, upcoming, and rumored lenses, we can see the different approaches that Nikon and Canon are taking with their mirrorless full frame cameras. Alongside Canon’s enthusiast-level camera, they have released four lenses: the 28-70 f/2L zoom, the 50mm f/1.2L, the 24-105 f/4L, and the 35mm f/1.8 Macro. If you notice, three of those four lenses are L branded, Canon’s professional-level branding.

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7 Essential Lightroom Tricks I Use Daily

 Cinematography, Technique  Comments Off on 7 Essential Lightroom Tricks I Use Daily
Nov 112018
 

Everyone’s list of Lightroom tricks and shortcuts is a bit different and when I started to compile mine I wasn’t 100% sure what they were exactly. It’s funny how you don’t even realize you’re using these handy timesavers as they become second nature when you apply them within your editing workflow.

In this 6-minute video, I review my list of 7 essential Lightroom tricks that I use on a daily basis. These are placed in order of importance simply based off of how often I use them. Some of these are widely known and others I don’t hear discussed very often – hopefully you aren’t familiar with all of them and you’re able to pick up a couple new ones that you can apply to your editing process moving forward.

7. Spot Removal Reselect

How often does Lightroom auto select an inaccurate area of your image to use as the basis for the spot removal tool? Happens to me all the time and if it happens to you, just hit the forward slash key ‘/‘. This will tell Lightroom to make another selection – you can keep doing this until you’re happy with the selection.

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This Week’s Top 10 Deals for Filmmakers – Canon 1DX Mark II, ZEISS Lens, Litepanels and more

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on This Week’s Top 10 Deals for Filmmakers – Canon 1DX Mark II, ZEISS Lens, Litepanels and more
Nov 112018
 

There are a couple of new interesting deals for filmmakers available. We selected the best 10 offers of filmmaking gear from our partners’ online shops for this week. Including the Canon 1DX Mark II, a ZEISS ultra wide-angle lens, Litepanels LED lights, a case for the DJI Ronin-S, a Dell Alienware laptop and more.

I went through the current deals on our partners’ websites and selected the top 10 offers currently available, which I think could be interesting for you. First, there are B&H offers listed for our readers based in North and South America and then a couple of deals from our European partner CVP. By shopping at our affiliate partners’ stores you are supporting cinema5D through our buy links, as we get a small affiliate commission when a purchase is completed.

Now, let’s take a look at this week’s top 10 deals for filmmakers:

B&H: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR Body – $500 Discount

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Kandao QooCam Review and 3D 180 / 360 Video Samples

 Cinematography, Gear, virtual reality, VR HDR  Comments Off on Kandao QooCam Review and 3D 180 / 360 Video Samples
Nov 112018
 

The Kandao QooCam is a handheld 360 and 180 3D VR camera that creates great looking VR video for social media. Check out our Kandao QooCam review and test videos.

Kandao is one of the most innovative players in the VR camera space at the moment. This is an increasingly contested and fast developing market at the cutting edge of computational photography’s disruptive infiltration towards the mainstream.

The QooCam comes from the makers of the Obsidian Go, Obsidian R and Obsidian S 8K and high speed 360 VR cameras. We’ve covered a number of recent developments from Kandao here on cinema5D including the recent 8K VR live streaming demonstrated at IBC. We also covered the announcement of the QooCam back in May.

Before getting too deep, here are the sample videos shot with the QooCam.

QooCam 3D 180 / 360 Videos Samples

Below are the videos I shot while in Istanbul and in L.A. The top video is 3D 180, and the bottom video is 360. If you’re not set up for the full VR viewing experience, I recommend watching these on your phone rather than desktop, you’ll be able to move your phone around as a virtual window on the scene.

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$400 Camera vs $4,000 Camera: Can a Pro Photog Tell the Difference?, by Michael Zhang

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on $400 Camera vs $4,000 Camera: Can a Pro Photog Tell the Difference?, by Michael Zhang
Oct 242018
 

Photographer and YouTube star Peter McKinnon decided to do an experiment on whether you can create top-quality content using entry-level camera gear. He had a pro photographer see if he could distinguish between photos from a $400 camera and those of a $4,000 camera.

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Fujifilm says it will ‘never’ launch a full-frame mirrorless camera, by Trevor Mogg

 Gear, Mirrorless, News  Comments Off on Fujifilm says it will ‘never’ launch a full-frame mirrorless camera, by Trevor Mogg
Oct 242018
 

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Phase One pushes the limits with 151-megapixel XF IQ4 camera system, by Stephen Shankland

 Gear, News  Comments Off on Phase One pushes the limits with 151-megapixel XF IQ4 camera system, by Stephen Shankland
Aug 302018
 

Enough people apparently can afford a $51,990 medium-format camera to keep this ultrapremium company in business.

If you want a new camera to take your photography to the next level, you could get a 42-megapixel Sony A7R III for $3,200, a 50-megapixel Canon EOS 5DR for $3,900 or a 46-megapixel Nikon Z7 for $3,400.

But if you want to enable some serious pixel peeping, you can go all out and buy the XF IQ4 camera system unveiled Tuesday by Danish camera maker Phase One. The IQ4, the new digital back that attaches to the XF camera body, packs a whopping 151 megapixels.

Perhaps spending $51,990 might put you off — a price that doesn’t include extra lenses that’ll add thousands more to the price. But there are customers who spring for this kind of gear. Among them are those who need enormous high-quality prints, who photograph models for fashion magazines, who shoot expensive products like luxury cars and jewelry, and who make high-quality reproductions of museum art and artifacts.

“If you need highest resolution possible, this is the only one providing 151 megapixels,” said Lau Norgaard, the camera’s architect.

The camera system goes on sale in October.

Most of us prefer a 12-megapixel camera on a pocketable iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9 to a bulky, high-end Canon, Nikon or Sony camera. But the continued existence of Phase One — a 300-person company founded 25 years ago in Copenhagen — shows there’s also a market for the highest possible image quality.

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CNET

 

Nikon Announces NIKKOR AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Compact Super-Telephoto Lens

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Nikon Announces NIKKOR AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Compact Super-Telephoto Lens
Aug 232018
 

Following up Nikon’s big mirrorless announcement, Nikon also announced a much-anticipated F-mount lens: the AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR super-telephoto lens.

UPDATE: Pre-orders now available.

Nikon’s newest super-telephoto is another addition to its PF series of lenses that use a phase fresnel lens element in order to reduce the size and weight of what would otherwise be a much larger lens similar to more traditional fast, super-telephotos. The maximum diameter of this 500mm f/5.6E PF lens is 106mm, and it’s just 237mm long. It weighs about as much as the AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens, which is quite a feat for a lens with such reach. Most fast 500mm lenses weigh about twice that much. Naturally, this lens features Nikon’s dust- and drip-resistance as well as a fluorine coat on the front element to help repel dirt and moisture (and to also make it easy to clean).

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Nikon Announces the Nikon Z6 and Z7 Mirrorless Cameras

 Gear  Comments Off on Nikon Announces the Nikon Z6 and Z7 Mirrorless Cameras
Aug 232018
 

Nikon is finally here with its first professional, full-frame mirrorless cameras: the Z6 and the higher-megapixel Z7.

UPDATE: Pre-orders now open. Order now to get in line before everyone else.

We’ve waited for a long time for this, and now, after watching Sony from afar, tonight Nikon announced its answer to Sony’s rather successful a7- and a9-series cameras. The Z6 is Nikon’s low-light, mid-resolution body, high frame-rate body while the Z7 is a high-resolution equivalent. Alongside the Z-mount system, Nikon also introduced a new AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR compact, super-telephoto lens with the standard F-mount. But let’s dive right into the specifications for the Z cameras.

Nikon Z6

  • $1,995.95, $2,599.95 with 24-70 f/4 kit lens
  • Available late November 2018
  • 24.5 MP full-frame sensor
  • ISO 100-51,200 (expands to 204,800)
  • 273 AF point, Hybrid PDAF, 90-percent viewfinder coverage
  • 3.6M EVF
  • 3.2-inch, 2.1M touchscreen
  • 12 fps
  • Video: Full HD at 120p, 4K at 30p, N-LOG profile (4:2:2 10-bit HDMI)
  • Focus peaking and zebra stripes
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Single XQD card slot
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • EN-EL15b battery (supports both EN-EL15a/b)
  • Weighs 585g (similar to Sony a9 with battery)

Nikon Z7

  • $3,399.95, $3,999.95 with 24-70 f/4 kit lens
  • September 27 availability
  • 45.7 MP full-frame sensor
  • ISO 64-25,600 (expands to 102,400)
  • 493 AF point, Hybrid PDAF, 90-percent viewfinder coverage
  • 3.6M EVF
  • 3.2-inch 2.1M touchscreen
  • 9 fps
  • Video: Full HD at 120p, 4K at 30p, N-LOG profile (4:2:2 10-bit HDMI)
  • Focus peaking and zebra stripes
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Single XQD card slot
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • EN-EL15b battery (supports both EN-EL15a/b)
  • Weighs 585g (similar to Sony a9 with battery)

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic 2 Zoom Announced – Plenty of Improvements

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic 2 Zoom Announced – Plenty of Improvements
Aug 232018
 

Finally – today is the release day for the new DJI Mavic 2 drones. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro with integrated 1″ sensor Hasselblad camera and Mavic 2 Zoom, the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capability. Both drones offer lots of smart features, flight time of up to 31 minutes and a more stable video transmission system.

The new DJI Mavic 2 Drones. Source: DJI

Every drone enthusiast was waiting for this. The day when DJI releases their new Mavic 2 drone. That day is today! As we already know since a month ago – DJI is not revealing one new drone, but two new drones. Number one: Mavic 2 Pro, the world’s first drone with an integrated Hasselblad camera. Number two: Mavic 2 Zoom, the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capability. Both drones share the same foldable body design and offer a flight time of up to 31 minutes as well as a more stable video transmission system.

Brief History of the Mavic

When the original DJI Mavic Pro (our review here) came out in 2016, it caused a small revolution in the drone world – it featured an unprecedented combination of portability and image quality. With its foldable design it fitted in every bag and made drone shooting accessible to masses. Even despite its low bitrate of 60Mbps, and therefore not so great dynamic range, it carried much more strengths and is still a very popular product, to this day.

New DJI Mavic 2 Series Drones. Source: DJI

In january 2018 DJI presented Mavic Pro’s smaller brother – the DJI Mavic Air (hands-on video here, Mavic Pro comparison here). It featured a higher bitrate of 100Mbps in a smaller, lighter and more affordable body. There were, however, some trade-offs when compared to the older Mavic Pro. For instance, the lower range due to different wireless technology used (OcuSync in Pro vs Extended Wifi in Air).

Both the Mavic Pro and the Mavic Air shared the same 1/2.3″ sensor. The field-of-view of the lens was 26mm (full frame equivalent) with the Pro and 24mm (full frame equivalent) with the Air.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Image Quality is Everything

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro features the brand-new camera module which DJI co-engineered with Hasselblad. The partnership with the medium format photography pioneer is very clear, as the Mavic 2 Pro proudly carries the Hasselblad logo right above the lens.

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PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter Review – a new Gold Standard?

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter Review – a new Gold Standard?
Aug 192018
 

In this review, I’m testing the new PolarPro Quartzline ND 64 filter and PolarPro ND16 / PL (polarizer) filter. Those filters are made of 99.9% fused quartz to ensure optical clarity with a very low refractive index. The frames are built from machined brass to ensure they thread on smoothly – very essential as I have experienced seized up filters from aluminium frames myself already. A very nasty experience …

PolarPro claims a neutral color balance, zero color shift and near perfect transmission by the optical coatings. For more information about the available filters and sizes, please head to Richard’s article.

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Canon IS vs Sony IBIS: Which Image Stabilization is Better?

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon IS vs Sony IBIS: Which Image Stabilization is Better?
Aug 192018
 

The Sony a7R III is a feature-filled camera that I’m sure many of us would consider to be one of the best currently available on the market. One of its very useful features is IBIS or in-body image stabilization. This feature helps prevent motion blur in your images by moving the sensor to compensate for unintentional vibrations and movements.

In practical uses this means you can shoot with relatively slower shutter speeds and still produce sharp images, preventing the need to increase the ISO. The great thing about having stabilization on the sensor is that it’s effective on pretty much any lens you put on the camera.

Canon, on the other hand, does not currently offer any camera with sensor stabilization. Their reason for this is because they believe stabilization in the lens is more effective because it’s designed specifically for the lens in question. For that reason, I decided to compare Canon’s lens IS against Sony’s IBIS to see which one is actually better.

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Hasselblad’s XV Lens Adapter Lets You Use V Lenses on the X1D-50c

 Gear  Comments Off on Hasselblad’s XV Lens Adapter Lets You Use V Lenses on the X1D-50c
Aug 192018
 

Hasselblad has launched its new XV lens adapter, which lets you mount old V system lenses on the new X1D-50c medium format mirrorless camera.

The XV adapter, which Hasselblad says “bridges its legacy and its future,” supports Hasselblad’s full lineup of C, CB, CF, CFI, CFE, F and FE lenses — it adds compatibility for over 60 lenses that range in focal length from 30mm to 500mm.

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petapixel

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Samsung’s New Galaxy Note 9 Points Out Flaws In Your Photos

 Gear  Comments Off on Samsung’s New Galaxy Note 9 Points Out Flaws In Your Photos
Aug 112018
 

Samsung today announced the new Galaxy Note 9 smartphone. Among its new features is Samsung’s “most intelligent camera yet” and a new Flaw Detection feature that will point out when your photos aren’t up to par.

The Note 9 features a dual camera on the back with a 12MP f1.5/f2.4 wide-angle lens (it has a dual aperture like the Samsung Galaxy S9) and a 12mp f/2.4 telephoto lens. Both lenses have built-in optical image stabilization. The front-facing camera is an 8MP f/1.7 unit.

“New revolutionary features make it nearly impossible to take a bad shot,” Samsung says. “The Galaxy Note 9 intelligently recognizes what you’re looking at, optimizing color settings like contrast, white balance, exposure, and more.”

And when you do snap a bag shot, the new “Flaw Detection” system will display notifications when it detects things like blinks, blurs, smudges (from dirty lenses), and backlighting.

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Sigma 135mm 1.8, 14mm 1.4, and 70mm 2.8 Art & Contemporary Lenses for Sony E-Mount Now Shipping

 Gear  Comments Off on Sigma 135mm 1.8, 14mm 1.4, and 70mm 2.8 Art & Contemporary Lenses for Sony E-Mount Now Shipping
Aug 112018
 

Sigma announced in February that their ART and Contemporary lenses would be coming to E-mount to a warranted level of excitement, but the wait for delivery has been rough on some. That wait, however, was over in June when Sigma started shipping the first 5 of the 9 announced E-mount lenses, and now three more are ready to go: 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO, and 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lenses for Sony E-mount.

The Sigma Art lenses have been prized for their optical performance which should see no change in the native e-mount versions, but some of the other performance abilities have been dampened on Sony units due to the required Sigma Mount Converter MC-11. Sigma claims these abilities that should be realized in full with the new native models:

“…the new Sony E-mount models feature a newly developed control algorithm that optimizes the autofocus drive and maximizes the data transmission speed. In addition, these lenses are compatible with Sony’s Continuous AF (AF-C) and high-speed autofocus, which are not addressed by Sigma Mount Converter MC-11. Like MC-11, the lenses are compatible with in-camera image stabilization and in-camera lens aberration correction, which includes corrections for peripheral illumination, chromatic aberrations and distortion.”

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slrlounge

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Snap On, Snap Off – Bright Tangerine Left Field Quick Release Bridge Plate

 Gear  Comments Off on Snap On, Snap Off – Bright Tangerine Left Field Quick Release Bridge Plate
Aug 112018
 

The Bright Tangerine Left Field 19mm Studio Quick Release Bridge Plate is a snap on, snap off bridge plate for ARRI Dovetail, compatible to ARRI and RED height standards.

High contender for the longest name in camera accessory history, the Bright Tangerine Left Field 19mm Studio Quick Release Bridge Plate initially surfaced around NAB last year, hidden under a few more-specific ARRI Alexa Mini accessories.

Bright Tangerine has now announced it as a stand-alone product, ready to pre-order.

What Makes it Unique

There’s a fair amount of Bridge Plates out there; the ARRI dovetail has been one of the industry-standard camera plates in the professional market for years.

Yet most conform to the old school way of slide on/slide off mounting.

Whilst the slide function is fantastic for fine (and broad) tuning the balance of the camera rig, it can be a bit of a fiddle to completely removing or mounting the camera.

Snap plates have the standard for other plates for ages (Euro, Arca Swiss, Sachtler, Manfrotto), it’s interesting to see the lack of snap on/off function in the ARRI Dovetail-compatible market.

This is exactly where the Bright Tangerine Left Field comes in, it’s a bridge plate that has full slide function for adjustment, but can be removed by turning the lever further and lifting the camera straight off.

It does this at half the price of the similar ARRI snap plate – The CBP-1 Compact Bridge Plate.

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