There’s a wide range of decent on-camera monitors to choose from, and now there’s one more candidate: the new Marshall V-LCD70W-SH. It’s a 7″ HDMI and SDI LCD monitor with pretty much every feature you would expect in this class of monitors.
It features a detachable sun hood that’s also foldable, which can be quite useful for stowing away when not needed. Those tiny brackets look like they may be a little fragile, though…
Folded and extended sun hood.
When the sun hood is attached, all buttons remain accessible as they are located on the outside, which is nice. Three user-customizable buttons for common functions such as focus peaking can be found on the left-hand side of the monitor. The other buttons are for input, menu access and on/off.
In terms of connectivity, you can use both the HDMI and SDI signals as an input. There’s a cross converter built right into the V-LCD70W-SH, so you’re able to loop through whatever signal is needed to a client monitor, for example. As an addition, this 7″ LCD sports a built-in tally light with two colors to choose from: red or green.
GearComments Off on FUJIFILM X-T20 Review – Real World Video Samples and First Impressions
Late last year while visiting Japan, I was fortunate enough to test the FUJIFILM X-T2. Now I’m delighted to have its little sibling before me, the X-T20, which was first announced at the beginning of 2017. I certainly had some expectations in regards to the video capabilities from this little camera, especially knowing how well the bigger X-T2 preformed. Here’s my FUJIFILM X-T20 review, where I will focus on its video performance.
If you have been following the latest developments in our industry, you might agree with me that something good is happening regarding all things FUJI. Besides FUJINON – their optical devision that now brings us quality cinemazoom lenses at a reduced price – FUJIFILM now offers high-quality 4K video throughout their new APS-C line, an indicator that the company is listening to their customers. If I can be a fool and look into the future, I wouldn’t be surprised if FUJIFILM’s ambitions eventually merge, and what we will see is a proper high-quality filming tool to accompany their high-quality glass.
GearComments Off on Check Out This Crazy Deal on the 5D Mark IV by; Alex Cooke
This is the best price we’ve seen on the Canon 5D Mark IV yet, and it likely won’t last long. If you’re in the market for Canon’s latest full-frame body, now is a really good time to pick it up.
I just completed two shoots with my 5D Mark IV today, and it continues to be my favorite Canon body to date. It’s a very capable and versatile camera that spits out gorgeous files. I recommend it very highly to anyone in the Canon system.
GearComments Off on Rumor Has It Sigma Is Releasing a 70-200mm f/2.8 Sport Lens in Late 2017 by; Alex Cooke
Sigma is showing no signs of slowing down. As their line of unique and high-quality lenses continues to expand at an explosive rate, it appears they’ll be adding a lens almost every photographer should own later this year: the 70-200mm f/2.8.
The 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is arguably the most important lens most photographers can carry, along with the 24-70mm f/2.8. Every major manufacturer has their own native version:Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax, all of which represent some of their best optics and performance. Tamron also recently released theSP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, an update that provides improved AF, stabilization, and optical quality. With Sigma on a roll, having released four new full-frame lenses, it’s only logical to hear that they’re planning an update to their 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, which is a holdover from the days before their revamped design that started with their Art series. Such a lens would surely be widely welcomed by photographers who have mostly embraced Sigma’s new lenses, while the continued pressure put on the mainstay manufacturers by increasingly tempting third-party options is always good for the market.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on New FUJIFILM X-T2 Cage – LockCircle Kinetics XT2 by; Jakub Han
LockCircle is introducing their newFUJIFILM X-T2 cage called Kinetics XT2. Its asymmetrical design approach lets you hold the original grip of the camera, and features various threads for accessories as well as a baseplate, and HDMI and USB ports protectors.
LockCircle Kinetics XT2 cage with all the features
FUJIFILM X-T2 is a very interesting mirrorless camera for filmmakers that is especially capable in 4K. We tested this little camera couple of months ago, os if you haven’t yet, make sure to take a look at ourreal world video test and also our Lab test where we compared it against the Sony a7S II. LockCircle is now introducing their ergonomic cage for the FUJIFILM X-T2, which is designed to fit around the camera with an “asymmetrical design approach” for a right-handed camera grip. This means it is possible to hold the camera using the original grip even when the cage is mounted, as visible in the product photos. The weight of the cage itself is 300g (10 oz).
All camera controls remain visible and available as the FUJIFILM XT-2 cage has many cutouts, and offers multiple threads to mount various accessories – 79x 1/4”-20 threads and 3x 3/8”. The cage has also several threads to mount the AC tape measurement titanium hook.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on FUJINON MK18-55mm Technical Review – The New E-Mount Cine Zoom in the Lab by; Sebastian Wober
FUJINON just introduced a new line of affordable E-Mount Cine Zooms made for documentary-style cine shooters. The FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 is the first of two complimentary zoom lenses and it’s already on our test bench – here’s our FUJINON MK18-55mm Review.
Featuring a claimed non-breathing focus mechanism, par-focal design and fully-geared cine lens controls, let’s confront this newcomer with our 8K test chart and compare it to the infamous new Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 and a similarly-specced Canon photo lens.
Also, check out our Hands-on FUJINON MK 18-55mm with Footage HERE.
Why is this Lens Interesting for Cine Shooters?
First of all, let’s look at why this lens is interesting for us! For many years, large-sensor video shooters have been forced to use photo lenses with our Canon, or Canon-adapted large-sensor cameras. As many of us shoot documentaries or documentary-style projects, using photo zoom lenses has been a real frustration as they’re designed for photography, meaning they have a short focus throw, no hard stops, no manual iris control, clunky zooming, breathing, are non par-focal… the list goes on, as these are considerations that aren’t really relevant for shooting still images. Only recently manufacturers have finally started delivering zooms that are fit for video production and are not as heavy on the lens barrel and the wallet as high-end cine zooms. The Sony28-135mm was the first of its kind (reviewed here), Canon was next, and now FUJINON is the one to catch our interest.
GearComments Off on Photos of Canon’s Mirrorless M6 and Removable EVF Leaked
Photos of Canon’s soon-to-be-announced EOS M6 mirrorless camera have leaked, and unlike the M5, it doesn’t feature an EVF. Instead, Canon is releasing a new removable EVF that has also leaked for your peeping pleasure.
These leaked photos come to us from Digicame-info, who regularly gets their hands on official product shots just days (or sometimes hours) before an official announcement. This time is no different. The M6 is expected to be announced this month before CP+, which starts February 23rd.
Scroll down to see all of the leaked photos of the black and silver M6 and the EVF-DC2 viewfinder, and keep your eyes peeled for an official announcement, probably in the next few days.
GearComments Off on Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens Awarded Highest Score Ever by DxOMark
Sigma is still on a roll when it comes to its high-end Art lenses, and the latest accolade is impressive: DxOMark just awarded the new Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens the highest score the benchmarking company has ever given.
The lens beat out a trio of highly regarded Zeiss lenses for the top spot, earning an overall score of 50 while the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/2 received a 48.
AppleComments Off on Honest MacBook Pro Review Says the New Laptop is Apple’s 5D Mark IV
In a single sentence, photographer and reviewer Jaron Schneider summed up the problem with Apple’s new MacBook Pro: it’s basically Apple’s 5D Mark IV. Too much time and build-up meant insanely high expectations, and Apple didn’t come close to matching them even if they did release a good product.
Schneider’s MacBook Pro review is one of the best we’ve seen. It does a great job of staying neutral, starting out on a positive note, explaining what it is Apple “fanboys” are chasing and why they’re willing to put up with so much, and then giving Apple a well-deserved lashing for the ways in which the new MBP falls short.
The question he’s really trying to answer is: is the MacBook Pro really “Pro,” and the answer seems to be “sort of.” The ultimate problem is that Apple tried to please everyone, and in the process didn’t really satisfy anyone. In Scheider’s words, “[The MacBook Pro] is a wonderful, beautiful product… that is in constant disagreement with itself.”
GearComments Off on Leica Announces the M10 by Adam Ottke
The Leica M10 is the latest iteration of digital German rangefinders. The M10 features a similar 24MP CMOS sensor to that of theM-P (Typ 240), expanded ISO performance from ISO 100-50,000, an improved viewfinder, new three-button back panel design, and more for a discount over the Typ 240.
At $6,595, the M10 is nearly 10 percent cheaper than the Typ 240 and offers better performance across the board. A new 0.73x viewfinder offers a 30-percent larger field of view and 50-percent increased eye relief. The menu system is designed to be controlled with a joystick and just three buttons: Play, Live View, and Menu. Meanwhile, a dedicated ISO dial offers automatic or manual selection from through the native range of ISO 100-6,400. A Leica Maestro II image processor allows for five-frame-per-second shooting.
GearComments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD by: Graham Sheldon
TheGH5 wasannounced 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.
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 will be available in a 4:3 aspect ratio in the Summer and 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.
**Update: The camera ships with Anamorphic 4K (4:3) with H.264 compression enabled. Come Summer 2017, 6K (4:3) will be shootable in H.265 compression with free firmware update. Firmware schedule below.
Unfortunately, if you previously purchased V-Log for your GH4 you will not be able to transfer that update over to the newGH5. A new purchase is required.
While the GH5 has the same dynamic range as thePanasonic GH4, it has slightly improved lowlight performance, but I wouldn’t call this a lowlight camera by any means. We were presented with a ISO 6400 video sample and noise in the picture was very evident. On top of that, when shooting with high ISO settings, the camera will automatically reduce noise internally. This feature cannot currently be turned off and can only be controlled via the menu with high/mid/ and low settings. Panasonic is certainly willing to listen to feedback and might consider adding a complete “off position button” if there is a demand for it.
Color depth is improved and the GH5 will eventually shoot internal 4:2:2 10bit, compared to the 4:2:0 8bit of its predecessor, but launches with 4:2:0 8bit only in IPB compression. 4:2:2 10bit color is double the information of 4:2:0 and provides greater grading flexibility in the post process before the image falls apart.
Here is some gorgeous footage, shot on GH5, from the good folks over at Neumann Films:
GearComments Off on Canon 5D Mark IV vs Nikon D810 vs Sony A7R II: Side-by-Side Comparison
If you’re in the market for a high-end full-frame camera, chances are good the Canon 5D Mark IV, Sony A7R II, and Nikon D810 are all contenders. Check out this side-by-side comparison if you’re having a hard time deciding which of the three is best for you.
This comparison was put together by JP Morgan over atThe Slanted Lens, who enlisted the help of Kenneth Merrill to put all three of these cameras through their paces using native glass. They tested image quality, autofocus accuracy and tracking, dynamic range, and high ISO/low light performance to see where each camera excelled, or if there’s even a noticeable difference.
You should definitely check out the full video to see the comparison tests and judge the results for yourself, but if you’re in a hurry, you can read our summary below.
Canon really fell short here, but then again it’s also the lowest resolution camera of the bunch at just 30.4MP compared to Nikon’s 36.3MP and Sony’s 42MP. Both the Nikon and Sony came out very sharp, but each exposed the scene a little differently, and the lower res Nikon seems to have generated the highest quality image.
Sony won tracking hands down thanks to the plethora of AF points going all the way to the edge of the sensor and its nifty Face Detection mode. As far as accuracy, Nikon seems to hit the mark more accurately than Canon (the Sony had to sit this test out).
GearComments Off on Sphere Pro – The 360 Degree Lens for DSLR by Jakub Han
Sphere Pro lens is a new product from Sphereoptics — a young startup from New York. It brings 360 video capability to conventional DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. No stitching is required so converting videos to spherical format is easier and faster.
The Sphere Pro lens is intended to be mounted (for best results) or held pointed upwards and it is designed to capture a 360° horizontal and 180° vertical field of view. That makes it one of a kind. It is a 35mm full frame format lens and has a Nikon F mount, but you can mount it to most cameras using an applicable adapter. The aperture is fixed at f/8 and focus is fixed as well (best at 40″/1meter).
From the test video you can see the image quality is not perfect, but for a quick VR experience it is sufficient. This lens gives you the ability to shoot conventional content with your personal camera and then quickly switch lenses and record a spherical video with the same body. If you wanted a better quality image you could mount the lens to a RED Cinema camera and shoot in significantly higher resolution, such as 6K. The image outcome will get better in line with the sensors used, which is an excellent feature of the device.
How does Sphere Pro lens work?
The device uses a special toroidal mirror with a reflective surface and series of optical elements to capture the full sphere of light around the lens into a circle-like image on the camera sensor. The resolution is therefore only dependent on the smallest dimension of the sensor. Converting the video to a spherical shape for VR viewing is easy and fast through pixel mapping. According to the creators, the process is so easy it can be done on your average iOS or Android device.
GearComments Off on DreamGrip Smartphone Rig for Filmmakers By: Jakub Han
If you’re a smartphone videography enthusiast maybe considering to step up your game, check out DreamGrip. You can use it with any smartphone, and allows you to mount plenty of accessories.
The quality of smartphone cameras has been steadily improving in recent times, with more and more people starting to use smartphones to generate high-quality video content. We brought you 10 useful Tips for cinematic smartphone videos in the past, but I think we will continue to see huge progress in smartphone videography in the coming years. This means more smartphone-oriented filmmaking accessories will start making an appearance.
DreamGrip is a Hong Kong-based company but with offices in Vancouver, Canada, and have been developing their smartphone rig since August 2015. After testing their first prototypes during the past year, they are now taking pre-orders.
What does the DreamGrip smartphone rig offer you?
Adjustable lens mount, so you can use any smartphone.
A variety of lenses: Fisheye, Wide Angle, Telephoto x2, Telephoto x3.
Bluetooth wireless remote with free app for Android and iOS.
Two cold shoe mounts on the handles.
Additional mounting possibilities through ¼” – 20” mounts and screws.
Adapter with a 52mm CPL filter.
One of the issues when filming with a smartphone at high resolutions while using Bluetooth is of course battery life. While I am not sure where you could mount a powerbank on this rig, it seems like it could accomodate one of those power cases for extra battery life. These are not available for all smartphones, though.
GearComments Off on Why I’m Leaving Apple for Microsoft: Switching as a Photographer
iPhones, MacBooks, Mac Pros, heck, even the Apple Watch, it was a good run indeed. However, times have changed, and that beauty that was once your innovation has now been covered up with the makeup that is nice marketing.
Don’t get me wrong, I am writing this on iMac number three, but like all other Apple products, it will soon be slower and barely usable due to some OS update that, while not mandatory, will show me an “update” banner ruthlessly until I succumb. But as I look back on the good times, I start to see what our relationship really was.
I was young and easily influenced. I didn’t just like Apple products, I looked up to them, for they were what professional photographers used. But now that my career as an advertising photographer is no longer new, I find the “need” that once existed is no longer there. When I get asked by strangers how I can get by as a photographer without having an iPhone, the reality of the relationship is drawn into complete focus.
It all started with a MacBook Air…
I was just out of college, and starting this career that is photography. I didn’t have a lot of money, but knew I wanted an Apple computer since they were made for creatives. Watching the keynote where Steve Jobs pulled the MacBook Air out of an envelope, I was smitten.
Unfortunately for me, I had to wait until I could buy a used one on Craigslist because the price new was too much. Creepy/shady transaction aside, there I stood with my first Apple product. It was perfect in every way, from the battery life, to the size of it, to how it felt to type on it. Over the years, many a blog post would be written on that little laptop and some incredible photo shoots would see their files transferred on its hard drive as I flew home.
However, as time went on, it got slower and slower. Through the latest and greatest OS updates that claimed to make it “faster,” my little MacBook Air would barely run Safari. But not to worry, I had been fortunate to have some success in this career, so I could buy a new MacBook that ran like the old one used to. On top of that, I could get a powerful laptop on which I could do all my editing while on set.
Enter the MacBook Pro…
Immediately upon taking it out of the box I remember thinking, it’s a bit big, but it’s like having a desktop that I can take with me everywhere. This argument fought in my brain, only to be quelled by the words of Jonathan Ive telling us that the fans were not symmetrical in it so it would be quieter. I carried around the MacBook Pro to every shoot for years, even to set with me as recently as last week. However, I have yet to ever edit a file on it, sans a quick resize.
While it may be possible to adjust files from smaller DSLRs, the idea of manipulating a 100 megapixel file on it is humorous at best. In short, my laptop has been what I have always wanted it to be, a file transportation system that I can write blog posts on.
So with that in mind, I began to crave the return of the MacBook Air. It was small, light and easy to chuck files on before getting on a plane. However, what we got was a new laptop that costs more to have less buttons (but at least we can select emojis on the keyboard). Herein lies my concern about Apple and the reason for my change.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Olympus OMD E-M1 II controls and handling for video – a first look
The new flagship Olympus OMD E-M1 II has been getting quite a lot of attention lately thanks to its amazing imagestabilisation capabilities and high bitrate internal DCI 4K recording. We’ve just received the highly specced Micro 4/3rds camera to test and will be taking a closer look at it over the coming days.
In this first article I’m going to look at the design and handling of the camera for video. In later articles we’ll examine the image stabilisation system, autofocus and image quality. Bitrates, crops and colour settings will have to wait till then. (spolier – there is no Log profile on the camera)
The camera body is nicely put together.
The body of the camera is nicely put together and is weather sealed. There is a good sized handgrip that felt good in my hands.
The LCD screen is a flip-out type similar to cameras like the GH4. You can angle it up, down or a full 180 degrees around for selfies – video bloggers will be happy. The electronic viewfinder has a 120 hz refresh rate and is very good, with little noticable lag or image judder. There is a histogram function, peaking and also focus magnification. These all work well, but the one major annoyance is that the magnification function doesn’t work while recording – unlike the competing Sony a7 and a6xxx series.
GearComments Off on Kinotehnik Practilite 600 — Portable LED Lighting for $799, By Graham Sheldon
The Kinotehnik Practilite 600 recently announced by the film accessory manufacturer is a portable, smartphone-controlled LED with a promised output similar to a 300-450 watt Tungsten light. This new addition to their Practilite line will be shipping and available soon, so read on for all the specs including pricing and availability.
LED technology has been improving dramatically over the years. Gone are the days of green tinged color output and individual diodes burning out because of poor quality control. The struggle these days, however, is creating high-output LED lights at a price point that makes sense. The Practilite 600 comes in with a price tag of $799, double the price of a comparable output tungsten light, but significantly more affordable than LED lights of years past.
Other budget LED fresnel lights on the market:
CAME TV CE-1500WS LED Video Spotlight $338.95
Dracast Fresnel 200 Daylight LED Light $493.50
The Kinotehnik Practilite 600 promises an equivalent output to a 300-450 watt tungsten unit, which for me personally places this light in background light, hair light or fill light territory — not necessarily for a key light. Despite being cheaper than the Practilite 602, the 600 has an output 20% higher in flood mode according to the manufacturer.
For more on the first member of the Practilite line read Johnnie Behiri’s minute review of the Practilite 602 HERE.
The benefits of LED lighting lie in power consumption and heat output. You can plug multiple LED lights into household circuits and not worry about blowing a breaker. In the tungsten world, you are out of luck with anything larger than a 1K light, maybe 2K in some instances, inside a home. Not to mention that with tungsten lighting there is always that tiny chance of someone getting burned. Not so with LEDs.
TechniqueComments Off on OmniVision’s new image sensors will bring zHDR technology to smartphones
Chinese image sensor manufacturer OmniVision Technologies has announced four new smartphone sensors capable of capturing more dynamic range and less noise than ever before.
The four sensors use OmniVision’s second-generation PureCel Plus and PureCel Plus-S pixel technologies to achieve the increase in performance.
To increase dynamic range, OmniVision has increased full-well capacity (FWC), meaning each pixel is capable of collecting more light before clipping of the highlights begins to occur. This improvement is said to increase dynamic range by 20 percent over the previous generation.
Action cams, GearComments Off on DJI announces the M600 Pro drone for payloads up to 6kg
DJI has announced yet another drone, but this time it is a lot larger than the Mavic Pro. The Matrice 600 Proinherits everything from the M600 with the addition of improved flight performance and better loading capacity. The M600 now comes with pre-installed arms and antennas to help reduce the setup time. This is perhaps the biggest improvement over the older M600.
The airframe is equipped with the A3 Pro flight controller, Lightbridge 2 HD transmission system, intelligent batteries and battery management system. All Zenmuse cameras and gimbals are natively compatible and there is full integration with third party software and hardware.