Sony Unveils 3 New 1-inch Sensor Camcorders – AX700, NX80 & Z90

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sony Unveils 3 New 1-inch Sensor Camcorders – AX700, NX80 & Z90
Sep 172017
 

Sony has just announced three new 4K HDR (3840×2160) palm-sized camcorders during IBC 2017 in Amsterdam: the XDCAM PXW-Z90, the NXCAM HXR-NX80 and the Handycam FDR-AX700 with an improved AF system.

The new camcorders have a Sony 1-inch stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor, and all three support an instant HDR (High Dynamic Range) workflow with HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma). According to Sony, the most exciting thing about these new camcorders will be the fast Hybrid Autofocus system.

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Vision Research introduces Phantom VEO 4KPL and Phantom VEO 590L

 Gear  Comments Off on Vision Research introduces Phantom VEO 4KPL and Phantom VEO 590L
Sep 062017
 

Vision Research has just introduced its newest flagship model, the Phantom VEO 4K PL, as well as the Phantom VEO 590S and VEO590L. How do these newly-introduced cameras compare to other models? Will the camera break my bank? We have the answers for you below.

What is the Phantom VEO line?

They say that when you touch a Phantom camera you go straight to heaven. At least that’s how I feel. Vision Research is a company that started out with high-speed cameras for military testing and analysing car-crash impacts, only to later turn its eye to the film industry with its revolutionary tech. In 2014, Vision Research introduced the mind-blowing Phantom Flex 4K camera, capable of 1000 frames-per-second at full 4K DCI resolution, in what many would consider the best quality 4K RAW compared to RED and even ARRI. Last year, Vision Research introduced the VEO line, a more compact version of their film industry cameras that continue the trend set by the ARRI Mini and RED – that smaller is better. Less weight and a more compact design mean more possibilities, such as the use of stabilisation platforms and even UAV. In comparison, the Phantom Flex 4K body weighs an incredible 5kg without ANYTHING on it. Add a lens, follow focus, rods, viewfinder, batteries, monitor and you can easily accumulate a weight that not many gimbals can handle.

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Nikon D850 Full Frame 4K!

 Adorama Deals, Cinematography, Gear, News  Comments Off on Nikon D850 Full Frame 4K!
Aug 242017
 

Record 16:9 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) in full frame glory using the total widthof the D850’s back-side illuminated CMOS sensor. Take advantage ofthe large sensor size for clean output at high ISO and for shooting with zerocrop factor with full-frame NIKKOR lenses3, including wide and ultra-wideangle lenses.

 

I think this is just what I need… I have been a Nikon user but switched to Canon a number of years ago. I just may switch back!

Pre-Order Now:

The new Nikon D850 is now available for pre-order. Expected ship date is 09/7/2017

Nikon D850 FX-format Digital SLR Body – $3296.95

New Accessories:
MB-D18 Multi-Power Battery Pack – $396.95
Nikon ES-2 Film Digitalizing Adapter Set for D850 – $139.95
AN-DC18 Strap – $24.95
FH-4 Strip Film Holder $34.95
FH-5 Slide Mount Holder – $24.95

Nikon D850 Announced

 Adorama Deals, Cinematography, News  Comments Off on Nikon D850 Announced
Aug 242017
 

Nikon D850

The Nikon D850 is now official after quite a bit of anticipation following a development announcement just a few short weeks ago. Thankfully, Nikon has not disappointed and the new D850 houses some of the best specifications and features of any modern camera. Headlining the announcement is a new full frame 45.7MP BSI (back side illuminated) sensor with no low pass filter. We first saw this technology implemented in the Sony A7RII and it should allow for amazing dynamic range while still retaining great low light results, even with the higher resolution sensor. When the Nikon D800 first pioneered the high resolution DSLR, it did so with limited speed and performance. Thankfully the D850 matches the Canon 5D Mark IV’s ample 7fps shooting speed and can even exceed it by shooting up to 9fps when paired with the MB-D18 battery grip and EN-EL18a/b battery. Alright Nikon, you have my attention!

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Which Video Camera Would You Buy Today? Here’s a Comparison of 4K Systems from Canon, Sony, and Others

 Gear  Comments Off on Which Video Camera Would You Buy Today? Here’s a Comparison of 4K Systems from Canon, Sony, and Others
Aug 012017
 

Every time I’m on a set or grabbing coffee with another local filmmaker, we always end up talking gear for a bit, and inevitably the question comes up of “What camera would you buy if you had to buy right now, and why?” I decided to research things a bit and put together an article that explains what I’d buy if I absolutely had to right now, and the answer might surprise you.

First, let me just define a few parameters. I’m going to look at 4K-capable cameras that can capture internally, and cost less than $10,000. To further refine the list, fixed-lens cameras will not be listed, but don’t disregard them. They still serve a lot of event productions and run-and-gun shooters should really consider them a viable option when speed and versatility are more important than being able to change lenses. I’ll also being leaving DSLR-style cameras off the list, even though they are a popular choice. I wanted to keep the comparison as direct as possible.

Here’s a chart to get us started which should give us a quick glance at some major specs and price points. Below, I’ll hit on key points, note any special considerations, and finally end with my suggested picks for the kind of videographer or filmmaker you might be.

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Sony Introduces the S3CA – A Sony a7S II Without Recording Limit by; Sebastian Wober

 Cinematography  Comments Off on Sony Introduces the S3CA – A Sony a7S II Without Recording Limit by; Sebastian Wober
May 022017
 

Many were hoping to see an announcement of something like a “Sony a7S 3” camera at this year’s NAB. Instead, we saw a new version of the Sony a7S II called S3CA. While there is indeed an “S3” in its product name, this is rather a “special version” of the a7S II for certain applications. Here’s all about the new Sony S3CA.

Sony S3CA

The S3CA is an interesting camera – it features the same sensor and processing as the popular Sony a7S II, but doesn’t limit your recording to 30 minutes, meaning your card size is really the deciding factor on how long you can record for.

The Sony a7S II was introduced in 2015 and has made headlines as being one of the best cinema cameras on the market, especially because of its impressive lowlight capabilities (see my lowlight review here).

On top of its a7S II heritage, the S3CA has a slightly smaller, box-shaped and more durable body and it has no screen or buttons – it requires a USB connection with a PC or Mac as a control interface. For some applications this could be a very interesting solution. The S3CA could for example be used during a live production and be controlled from the mixer instead of a camera operator.

The camera on display was hooked up to a computer app, in which I noticed that the image lagged and stuttered. The app, however, is not intended for monitoring. Instead, the camera features an HDMI output up to 4K for monitoring and external recording.

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Panasonic 360 4K Video Camera – A Prototype No Longer by; Graham Sheldon

 Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic 360 4K Video Camera – A Prototype No Longer by; Graham Sheldon
May 022017
 

360 video is still very much the talk of NAB, and Panasonic is not one to be left behind. First announced late last year, the AW-360C10 – AKA the Panasonic 360 camera –  features four cameras shooting at 3840×1920 resolution and uses real-time active stitching. It’s aimed at the live event 360 world and we have all the details below: 

We first announced the Panasonic 360 prototype camera (Panasonic-360C10) and its base unit back in November of 2016 at Inter Bee, and now it seems the camera has made the jump from prototype into production. Four cameras mounted along the head of the unit shoot 4K video at up to 59.94fps in a 2:1 image format ratio, a.k.a equi-rectangular video.

Panasonic is hoping that their low latency system will find a home with sports, concerts, and other live, stadium-based events.

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Hasselblad H6D-100c Review – Shooting Medium-Format Video by; Christoph Tilley

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Hasselblad H6D-100c Review – Shooting Medium-Format Video by; Christoph Tilley
Apr 242017
 

In this guest review, Vienna-based filmmaker Christoph Tilley takes a close look at the Hasselblad H6D-100c – a 100MP, 4K Raw-capable medium format camera. Intrigued? Read on for his hands-on impressions.

Christoph Tilley reviews the Hasselblad H6D-100c

Shooting Medium-Format Video

Not too long ago DSLRs revolutionized the way we make films. These days, we are seeing the emergence of the first medium-format stills cameras capable of shooting video. What would it be like to shoot video on an such an extremely large sensor? 

Enter the Hasselblad H6D-100c, a 100 Megapixel Full-Frame Medium-Format Stills Camera. The resolution is absolutely incredible on this thing – each Raw image has a file size of 216,3 Megabytes. But why in particular is this interesting for us filmmakers? Well, this thing can also shoot 4K Raw video.

But what kind of results will you get when shooting video? And how does this large sensor compare to Super35 in the real world? To find out, we shot a typical interview scene on the RED Dragon with a 50mm lens wide open at f/1.4. Right alongside we had the Hasselblad H6D-100c with a 100mm lens at an f-stop of f/4.

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With the Panasonic GH5 Imminent, Atomos Announce the Ninja Inferno as the Ultimate Companion by; Mike Briggs

 Technique  Comments Off on With the Panasonic GH5 Imminent, Atomos Announce the Ninja Inferno as the Ultimate Companion by; Mike Briggs
Mar 262017
 

With reports that Panasonic have already begun to ship the hotly anticipated GH5, it seems Atomos have perfectly timed the announcement of their latest external monitor-recorder, the Ninja Inferno, due to ship March 31st. With 4:2:2 10-bit recording in 4k 60p and HD 120p, is this the ultimate companion for videographers awaiting their GH5 pre-order to arrive?

The Ninja Inferno will become the world’s first external monitor-recorder to accept 4k DCI signals from cameras like the GH5, recorded in ProRes or DNxHR and displayed on a 7″ 10-bit HDR touch screen LCD with 1500nits of brightness. You’ll get the typical rugged, high quality build you’d expect from an Atomos monitor-recorder made from ABS Polycarbonate. Also expect to see the usual features you’d expect in a premium external monitor-recorder such as focus peaking, zebra patterns, vectorscopes, false color and anamorphic desqueeze.

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Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD, By Graham Sheldon

 Cinematography, Gear, News  Comments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD, By Graham Sheldon
Jan 052017
 

The GH5 was announced back in September last year, but Panasonic kept many features of the camera close to the chest. Today, at CES, Panasonic pulled back the curtain. We have the full feature list and were invited to an exclusive prior GH5 hands-on event in Los Angeles. Spoiler alert, the camera looks great and it’s a cinematographer’s dream. Features, pricing and availability below:

The built-in flash found in the old GH4 is gone and a whole new array of magical features aimed squarely at indie filmmakers have taken its place in the MFT Panasonic DMC-GH5, unveiled today at CES in Las Vegas. However, the Panasonic GH5, like a fine wine, will need to age gracefully into the summer to reach its full potential. More on that later.
Back in May of 2014, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 hit the market and became an instant favorite. Lauded for its internal 4K, variable frame rate option, XLR input module and professional video features such as peaking, zebras and cinema color profiles, it was clear that Panasonic built the camera with the cinematographer in mind. On paper, engineers have outdone themselves in every way with the new GH5.
Panasonic will be squishing features like 4:2:2 10bit 4K with a bitrate of 400Mbps and 180fps FHD variable frame rate recording into the tiny 2.0 pound body of the GH5. Over the years you get used to seeing specs like this from companies such as RED Cinema, but with the price point of a BMW 5-series. For the GH5, we are more in 1998 Honda Civic territory with a camera body price point of $2,000.
In short, the GH5 looks stylish, feels great to hold and shoots gorgeous video.

The camera launches with a max resolution of 4096×2160 up to 60fps with a bitrate of 150Mbps. Notice the differences from the features in bold above? That’s because Panasonic is rolling out a free firmware plan upgrading the camera into the summer, and 4K (400Mbps) All-Intra recording will unlock by July.
Of course, it would be great to have all the banner features right as you open the box, but like many video games these days, you’ll need to wait for updates before the camera has its full feature list, but what a list of features it is.
Here is the full firmware breakdown:
GH5 Firmware Upgrade Path:

4:2:2 10bit – Available April, 2017
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode (4:3) – Available Summer, 2017
(200 Mbps) FHD 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available Summer, 2017
(400Mbps) 4K 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available, Summer 2017
V-Log Color Profile – Available at launch, Cost: $100
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode is available in a 4:3 aspect ratio. However, the very fact we are talking about getting 6K, or close, Anamorphic out of a $2,000 MFT body is exciting. Panasonic is calling this upcoming mode: “High Resolution Anamorphic” as it is 6K resolution in terms of pixel density, but not 6000 pixels of horizontal resolution.

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Review: Garmin Virb Ultra 30

 Action cams, Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Review: Garmin Virb Ultra 30
Sep 032016
 

Must be action cam season again. The recent Yi 4K camera—which is about as capable as a GoPro Hero4 Black for only half the price—really impressed me. While we’re all waiting to see how 800-pound gorilla GoPro will respond to that threat, Garmin has stepped into the game. Clearly, the company is swinging for the fences.

Garmin Virb Ultra 30

9/10

Wired

Innovative features like voice control and excellent case-on audio quality set it apart from a crowded field. Same resolution, framerates, and shooting mode as its competition. On-board sensors let you incorporate ride/stunt/adventure data into your videos. Works with most of the common mounts and accessories on the market.

Tired

Battery life is only meh. Image stabilization feature fails to impress.

The Virb Ultra 30 is the latest in Garmin’s Virb line of action sports accessories. There have been Virb-branded action cameras before, but the Ultra 30 represents a thorough rethink. It’s Garmin’s attempt at a kitchen-sink style, high-end action camera, and for the most part it really succeeds. Its resolution and speed reach up to 4K at 30 frames per second, or 1080p at 120fps, just like GoPro’s Hero4 Black. In fact it looks almost identical to a GoPro. Like the Yi 4K (another GoPro dead ringer) it also has a touchscreen on the back—something which the Hero4 Black lacks, but the mid-tier Silver edition has.

Remarkably, you can continue using the touchscreen even with its case on, which is waterproof to 133 feet. But that’s not the most notable thing about the case; Garmin specially designed a mic port for the waterproof case, and you may not believe it, but the sound is just as clear with the case on as it is with the case off. Crazy, I know, but watch the video comparison and you’ll see what I mean. It’s totally unprecedented in the arena of action cams, and its audio quality blows the doors off everything else.

Another terrific idea Garmin has implemented is voice control. You alert it by saying “OK Garmin…” and then “start recording,” “stop recording,” “take a photo,” or “remember that” (to add a tag to that part of the video). I tested it thoroughly while mountain biking some singletrack in the badlands of North Dakota, and I quickly grew to love the feature for one very important reason: It meant I didn’t have to take my hands off the handlebars. It’s always the dodgiest moments that you want to capture, which are the exact moments you really shouldn’t be letting go. Obviously, this applies to many different sports. It certainly doesn’t work perfectly, and your videos will always end with “OK Garmin, stop recording,” but true hands-free control is a major advantage.

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Garmin’s First 4K Action Camera Takes on GoPro

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on Garmin’s First 4K Action Camera Takes on GoPro
Sep 032016
 

Garmin has unveiled its first-ever 4K action camera, the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30, with live streaming, voice control and image stabilization, now available on Amazon for $499.99.

It’s a step up from its older Garmin Virb XE Action Cam, which maxed out at 1080p video, but costs $100 more than its predecessor.

The camera’s sensors and GPS help it track location, distance traveled, and speed, which we’d expect from Garmin products, but it adds an LCD color touch screen that can be operated through its waterproof housing and voice control that allows users to tell the camera when to start and stop recording.

Image stabilization works on three axes, and live streaming can be activated with one touch, according to the company. The waterproof housing, which protects the camera in water up to 40 meters deep, comes free with the camera.

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tomsguide.com

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New Sony FDR-X3000R – 4K Action Cam with Optical Stabilizer

 Action cams, Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on New Sony FDR-X3000R – 4K Action Cam with Optical Stabilizer
Sep 032016
 

In a week packed full of new camera announcements, the Sony FDR-X3000R action cam shows us that its not just about top-of-the-range, flagship cameras. With this significant announcement, Sony takes aim at the GoPro market yet again with their latest 4K-capable action cam with optical image stabilisation.

One of the main characteristics of the FDR-X3000R is the adoption of the Balanced Optical SteadyShot technology found in some of Sony’s handicam models. The B.O.SS system works by moving the entire optical path rather than just individual elements, and is supposed to achieve even greater shake reduction, making it ideal for action cam applications such as helmet or handlebar mounted operation.

In terms of hardware, the FDR-X3000R weighs only 114g, and features an 8.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor backed by a BIONZ X processor, the very same brains inside the Sony ɑ7 range, which allows for a full pixel readout without pixel binning. In addition, the new low-distortion Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 lens is adjustable in-camera to f=17 mm, f=23 mm and f=32 mm for Wide, Medium and Narrow settings respectively, and features a 3x smooth zoom while recording. All of this is housed in a splash and freezeproof body, making this action cam suitable for a variety of situations.

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In the Frame: Eleanor Mannion on shooting a 4K doc for RTÉ on an iPhone

 Apple, Cinematography  Comments Off on In the Frame: Eleanor Mannion on shooting a 4K doc for RTÉ on an iPhone
Aug 032016
 

The Collectors tells the stories of six regular people who all share an enthusiasm: an all-consuming passion for very specific stuff, whether that’s Lego, Barbies or Coca-Cola memorabilia. The project was directed and shot by Eleanor Mannion for Irish state broadcaster RTÉ and airs tonight. It was mastered in 4K for HD delivery, and unusually for the station everything was shot on an iPhone 6S+.

Mannion pitched the idea for the doc as part of a secondment to the station’s documentary unit, and made a sizzle reel to demonstrate her idea had legs. “I filmed it on my iPhone and presented it to the commissioning editors… they were really impressed and they couldn’t believe it was done on an iPhone.”

After the initial footage was recorded in HD, for the doc itself the team decided to shoot in 4K, reasoning that “If that’s the best quality you can film in using Filmic Pro on the iPhone then why not do it?”

A 128GB iPhone 6S+ dedicated to filming gave Mannion two to three hours of recording time, which actually suited how she dealt with her subjects. “You can’t really film for much longer than two hours with someone before they start to tire… and that was part of my decision as a director was that you have to know when that person needs a break.”

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Samyang announces new XEEN 135mm T2.2 Cine Lens

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Samyang announces new XEEN 135mm T2.2 Cine Lens
Jul 192016
 

The new XEEN 135mm T2.2 lens just announced by Samyang is the latest addition to their rugged, 4K-capable line-up. After successive releases of the 14mm and 35mm XEEN lenses earlier in the year, this completes the line up of premium optics from Samyang, the infiltrator of the cinema optics market.

The new XEEN 135mm boasts a T2.2 aperture, which is nearly equivalent to F2, a perfect focal length for intimate portrait shots of subjects. Not limited to Canon EF or Nikon F mount, the lenses are also available in PL, Sony E and MFT mounts also.

The minimum focus distance on the spec sheet of the XEEN 135mm is 0.8m, but as displayed on the image of the lens itself, it’s 2.9 feet, which is roughly 88cm. This is closer than the Zeiss CP.2 135mm, which comes in at 1m.

Unsurprisingly, it is also the heaviest lens in the range, weighing 1.382kg, although that is not a surprise considering the full metal body.

The XEEN range is designed for inter-operability, allowing the quick and easy switching with other XEEN lenses without adjusting your current setup, whether that be matte boxes, follow focus or the camera itself.

There is no mention of price, but as all the other lenses in the range are priced at £2495 (£1600), I would assume the price would follow suit. There is no release date for the 135mm model yet, but expect news from IBC and Photokina with more info!

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Opinion: Could Panasonic launch a full frame GH5?

 Cinematography, Gear, Technique  Comments Off on Opinion: Could Panasonic launch a full frame GH5?
Jul 032016
 
The launch of the Leica SL has led many to believe that Panasonic could be about to launch a full frame CSC with 4K video. But is that really a possibility?

The announcement of the Leica SL has led some to speculate that Panasonic will announce a full-frame compact system camera, but is there any evidence that this could happen?

It’s no secret that Panasonic and Leica have a good working relationship. Panasonic designs, manufactures and tests Micro Four Thirds lenses to quality standards that ensure Leica is then happy to wear the iconic red dot badge. And in return, Leica re-badges and tweaks Panasonic compact and bridge cameras as Leica models. Somewhere in between there’s obviously an exchange of ideas and information, but does this mean Panasonic will follow suit and announce it’s own full-frame CSC?

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thevideomode.com

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Wave goodbye to your brushless gimbal? Say hello to the REVL Arc 4K action cam with built-in gyroscope

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on Wave goodbye to your brushless gimbal? Say hello to the REVL Arc 4K action cam with built-in gyroscope
Mar 212016
 

Brushless gimbals are great tools for stabilising your camera and creating smooth footage, but imagine if you could get similar results with just a small action camera with no add-ons.

A new company, formed by a group of passionate kiteboarders and action sports lovers, called REVL is claiming to do just that. The REVL Arc is a tiny stabilised 4K Action Camera that has just launched on crowd funding platform Indiegogo. It uses a hybrid stabilisation system, which combines both electronic and physical stabilisation to keep the footage smooth. A built-in gyroscope keeps the view level to the horizon – even if you’re upside down, or the camera is being moved around. The launch video shows several shots that are made possible due to the camera’s small size, including one where the camera is attached to the centre of a moving car wheel.

One of REVL’s partners in this project is Sony, so it is pretty safe to assume that is who is making the camera sensor. The Arc can record 4k at 30 fps, 1080p at 120,60,30 FPS and 720p at 240,120,60 FPS. There is no mention or indication that the camera can record the more cinematic 24 or 25p frame rates and unless these are added this will limit its usefulness for professional filmmakers. There is no mention anywhere of what type of manual camera controls are available, if any.

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Jan 122016
 

With the mass release of VR devices imminent (you can now pre-order your own Oculus), everyone’s hopping on the 360-degree video boat. Kodak, accordingly, is hustling to get its offerings up to spec with a 4k update to its SP360 Action Cam. For $500, it’s pretty good, too.

When it comes to shooting 360 video for VR you have a lot more screen pixels to cover, so the upgrade to 4K is a welcome step up from the previous Kodak model. The old film company has done a good job about making sure that using this thing in the field is as easy as possible, too. The tiny camera comes packed with all the tools you need to create your own 360-degree videos, including various mounts and attachments that allow you to connect your SP360 to any GoPro accessories you may already own. (The SP360 is also the only VR camera that comes with a lens cap, which is a definite plus because the 360 fisheye lens is prone to finger prints.)

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Oct 022015
 

At IBC, Italian company SmartSystem were showing the latest updates to their range of sliders with a unique fluid drag system system instead of a traditional moving belt. As a result these sliders offer a very smooth travel motion – probably the smoothest I’ve seen. There is a Reflex version for smaller cameras and a Pro version that can carry weights of up to 100kg.

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Sep 302015
 

I spent the best part of this morning lining up outside a London Apple store waiting to collect my shiny new iPhone 6S. I had wanted the larger 6S Plus for its optical image stabilisation, but there were none to be found anywhere within about 200 miles.

I’d seen a number of tests over the past few days where people had tried to compare the new iPhone against other 4K cameras. I’m not really concerned about whether the iPhone is ‘better or worse’ than my Sony a7R II; what matters is how usable the footage looks and whether I could cut it in with other cameras if necessary. The trouble is that most testers hadn’t tried to optimise the iPhone image or grade it in any way. So having finally got my hands on the phone – and given it a quick charge – I set out to see what it was really capable of.

IMG_0088-441x600

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