Lifetime Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

 Gear  Comments Off on Lifetime Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens
Feb 102019
 

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is the oldest piece of kit in my work camera bag. As I get ready to upgrade all of my gear, I thought a lifetime review was in order.

I purchased this lens a very long time ago, it may be around a decade ago, I am not really sure. What I am sure of though is that it has paid for itself many times over. This is perhaps the best return on investment that a single piece of equipment has ever given me. I vividly remember walking to my local camera shop in Leicester during a lunch break to purchase a copy of this lens, with very little thought, research, or general clue as to what I was doing. I assume I had heard of a pro photographer who liked an 85mm lens and assumed I needed one. Back then I would have probably only had a crop-sensor camera so it was a little on the tight side for my taste, but I seem to remember buying my first full-frame body shortly after to remedy this, also with very little research and forethought.

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Micro Four Thirds Versus Full Frame: How Much Heavier Is Panasonic’s S1?

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Micro Four Thirds Versus Full Frame: How Much Heavier Is Panasonic’s S1?
Feb 102019
 

For those of us that like shooting on a mirrorless camera, we’ve probably become accustomed to the lightweight and easy to manage cameras. So are the S1 and S1R a step too far on the scales?

Now that Panasonic are entering the full-frame mirrorless market, they’ve created the heaviest camera of the bunch. The S1 weighs 2.25 pounds, with the S1R weighing basically the same at 2.24 pounds. Out of the competition, it’s only the Sony a9 that comes close with 1.48 pounds. All of this is with the battery inside the camera. Here’s a breakdown:

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Fujifilm X-T3 Versus X-T2: Which Camera Should You Buy?

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Fujifilm X-T3 Versus X-T2: Which Camera Should You Buy?
Feb 072019
 

When a new camera comes out, one of the most common questions I see is whether it’s worth upgrading to or not. This I think is a very reasonable and fair question because in many cases now, new cameras tend to be minor updates as opposed full on upgrades. Based on that, how does the Fujifilm X-T3 compare to the X-T2 and is it worth paying slightly more for the upgrade?

Personally, I feel that Fujifilm make some of the best APS-C cameras currently available. This is precisely why I’m such a fan of their cameras. The X-T2 was such a fantastic camera and currently its price point makes it a fantastic value for the money. It offers incredible image quality with some very useful video features. Fuji did such a good job with that camera that it’s going to take something pretty special to beat it.

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Canon EOS RP Revealed in Leaked Photos and Specs

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Canon EOS RP Revealed in Leaked Photos and Specs
Feb 072019
 

Canon is gearing up to announce its second full-frame mirrorless camera following the EOS R. It you can’t wait for the official announcement just around the corner, today’s your lucky day: the upcoming Canon EOS RP has been revealed in leaked photos and specs.

From the photos, we see that the RP isn’t just the same R body with modified specs and features. We can see that the design and form factor are noticeably different (and the RP is smaller):

To scale: a size comparison between the EOS RP (left) and EOS R (right).

Nokishita, which first published the photos, reports that the Canon EOS RP will feature a 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF and a DIGIC 8 image processor.

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Sony a6400 Review – Is the End of Manual Focus Lenses Near?

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Sony a6400 Review – Is the End of Manual Focus Lenses Near?
Feb 032019
 

With the introduction of the Sony a6400, I had a chance to take the new camera for a short spin and after playing with it for a bit, I made up my mind. Sony’s latest offering is very different and interesting, BUT, is it worth the upgrade from its a6300 and a6500 siblings? (Same sensor but enhanced image processing engine). Is it really a Vlogger’s camera? What is its strongest selling point and last but not least, what is the real reason for Sony to introduce this camera in my personal opinion? Interested? Keep reading.

It is the middle of January. My short (and yet to be disclosed) assignment in Japan is almost over but before going back home, I’m lucky enough to put my hands on the new Sony a6400 to take it for a short spin. At first, my plan was to shoot a short documentary with it and by doing so, explore its video capabilities, but after noticing that most features and even technical specifications are very similar to the Sony a6300 and a6500 (which I reviewed and tested before), I decided to scrap my original plan and concentrate on testing a single feature, the one that captured my attention most.

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Kessler Lamprey – 200lbs. Universal Suction Mount

 Gear  Comments Off on Kessler Lamprey – 200lbs. Universal Suction Mount
Dec 032018
 

Kessler has announced a new 200lbs force rated suction mount. The Kessler Lamprey is a 8” suction cup with cheeseplate top, offering a variety of mounting options for camera, lighting and grip accessories.

Suction mounts in filmmaking are generally pigeon holed into car rigging, however Kessler quote that the Lamprey is suitable for “any non-porous surface” such as windows, table tops and (of course) car body panels.

The 8” suction mount has a built in pump and is rated for 200lbs.

On top, things are kept fairly universal, a cheeseplate array of 1/4-20 & 3/8-16 threads and holes means you can use the Kessler Lamprey in a variety of configurations.

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A Smart Remote That Can Add Features Your DSLR Doesn’t Have out of the Box

 Gear  Comments Off on A Smart Remote That Can Add Features Your DSLR Doesn’t Have out of the Box
Dec 032018
 

No matter what camera you have, it will be missing some feature available on another brand or model. I found that with my Canon DSLR, and when I moved to a Sony a7 III, I gave up some good features and gained a few.

During my Canon days, I became interested in a product called the Pluto Trigger. I was really interested in catching lightning where I live in the Arizona mountains. So, I picked up a Pluto Trigger for that purpose, and quickly realized it did a whole lot more for $119.

The Pluto (let’s shorten its name for brevity) packs a boatload of features that can enhance any DSLR. It supports Canon, Nikon, Sony, Minolta, Panasonic, Olympus, Pentax, and more. You’ll need a connecting cable to your remote port on your camera, and the company offers 13 remote cables that can control more than 300 cameras.

The Pluto uses an iOS or Android app for control. It’s easy to use and actually pretty self-explanatory when you are out in the field.

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DJI Osmo Pocket – Tiny 3-Axis Stabilized Camera with 4K 60fps Recording

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on DJI Osmo Pocket – Tiny 3-Axis Stabilized Camera with 4K 60fps Recording
Nov 282018
 

DJI just announced the smallest camera with mechanical gimbal ever – DJI Osmo Pocket. It can take 12MP stills and record true 4K video at up to 60fps. There will also be a handful of accessories available for the new Osmo Pocket.

DJI Osmo Pocket – Smallest Osmo ever. Source: DJI

Right now, DJI is having an event in New York City called “Because Life is Big” and they announced their smallest camera with a 3-axis mechanical gimbal ever – the DJI Osmo Pocket. Nino Leitner from the cinema5D team is attending the event to bring the fresh information to our readers – we will also share a video about the announcement with a first hands-on tomorrow.

DJI Osmo Pocket

Just like previous generations of Osmo, this is a very compact camera with a mechanical gimbal and a handle. Although the word compact is getting a whole new dimension here – the DJI Osmo pocket is incredibly tiny – it only weighs 4.1 oz (116g) and it is 4.8″ (122mm) long. The camera can record true 4K video at up to 60fps with 100Mbps bitrate.

The DJI Osmo Pocket uses built-in dual microphones and advanced noise-canceling algorithms to ensure high quality audio. The built-in Li-Po battery offers up to two hours shooting video in 4K (30fps), but it is not interchangeable. On the back of the camera grip there is a touchscreen display to monitor the image and control the camera, two buttons for quick controls and a universal port to connect various accessories.

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The Nikon Z6: The Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera (Except for One Thing)?

 Gear  Comments Off on The Nikon Z6: The Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera (Except for One Thing)?
Nov 272018
 

With Nikon’s shiny new Z6 hitting the shelves in a matter of weeks, Kai Wong puts it through its paces at a nearby zoo, testing its autofocus and all-round performance with the help of a seasoned, Nikon-shooting photojournalist.

Photographer Paul John Bayfield has been shooting Nikons in the field for several years, so he’s the perfect candidate to see how the Z6 compares to its DSLR counterparts, and discuss how it stacks up against the Z7.

As mentioned elsewhere, the autofocus system just doesn’t quite compare to the 3D tracking offered by the likes of the D850 and the D5. For Nikon enthusiasts, this was undoubtedly something of a disappointment. The new combination of contrast detect and phase detect systems implemented in the Z range seems to be in its infancy, and prior to the launch of the Z7, expectations were high thanks to the 3D tracking in Nikon’s DSLRs that had set the standard by which it would be compared.

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Profoto B10 Versus Godox AD400Pro: The Best Strobes Compared

 Gear  Comments Off on Profoto B10 Versus Godox AD400Pro: The Best Strobes Compared
Nov 212018
 

A few months ago, we released our first impressions of the new Profoto B10 portable flash unit, and many of our readers claimed that we didn’t give it an honest review because it was wildly overpriced. Today, we are giving the critics what they asked for: we are going to compare it to the Godox AD400Pro.

Both of these flashes have more similarities than differences. They are both compact, battery-powered flashes that can also be plugged into AC power. The true differences are found in the details, and we have compiled the most detailed comparison in Fstoppers history. Let’s get to it.

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Check Out These Amazing Deals on the Canon 5D Mark IV and 6D Mark II

 Gear  Comments Off on Check Out These Amazing Deals on the Canon 5D Mark IV and 6D Mark II
Nov 212018
 

If you’re like me and have been waiting for the right deal on the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Camera, now is the time to buy. It is currently the lowest online price ever at B&H Photo. There’s also a great deal on the Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera.

In order to snag the $2,449 price for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, you need to order the printer kit, listed at $2,799. This includes a $350 mail-in rebate that you will need to send in by December 31, 2018. The normal price for this kit is listed at $3,354. That’s a savings of $905!

The kit includes:

  • 5D Mark IV Camera with:
    • 30.4 MP sensor
    • DIGIC 6+ processor
    • 3.2″ 1.62m-dot touchscreen
    • DCI 4K video at 30 fps with 8.8 MP stills
  • PIXMA PRO-100 Inkjet Printer
  • Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip
  • SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Memory Card
  • Canon LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
  • Canon Photo Paper

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Roland V-02HD – World’s Smallest Video Mixer

 Gear  Comments Off on Roland V-02HD – World’s Smallest Video Mixer
Nov 202018
 

At Inter BEE 2018 in Tokyo, Roland introduced their new video mixer – the Roland V-02HD – which happens to be the world’s smallest device of its kind. It can mix two HDMI video inputs up to 1080p and embed analog audio to the resulting HDMI output.

Roland V-02HD is new compact video mixer (also called “micro switcher”) primarily designed for smaller events or productions where size plays an important role. It is capable of various tasks and combines more standalone units in one. It can function as:

  • simple switcher
  • scaler
  • input expander
  • audio solution
  • inline video effects compositor

Mixing Two Video Inputs

With this product, Roland is allowing also smaller productions to record or stream output from two cameras. Using a live switcher onsite lets users have an immediate deliverable. The Roland V-02HD takes HDMI output up to 1080p from two cameras and seamlessly switches to a connected recorder or live streaming encoder. The operator can switch between cameras using the dedicated controls on the device. There is also FS-6 foot controler with pedals included, so the person switching the signal can operate one camera at the same time.

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This Week’s Top Pre-Black-Friday Deals of the Week – Nikon D750, Mavic Pro, Sony A9, MZed and more

 Gear  Comments Off on This Week’s Top Pre-Black-Friday Deals of the Week – Nikon D750, Mavic Pro, Sony A9, MZed and more
Nov 202018
 

The Black Friday craze is already kicking into full gear, and there are more great deals than in any other week. Even now there are some outstanding offerings like Nikon’s full frame D750, the Mavic Pro Fly More Combo, a discounted Sony FS5 and Panasonic EVA-1 and much more. Check it out!

After combing through all the deals our partners B&H and CVP are currently offering, we came up with these 10 items. Our American readers will have the B&H selection to choose from, while CVP might be more interesting to our European readership. Here’s what we found:

B&H: Nikon D750 with Battery Grip, Battery, SD-Card and Shoulder Bag – $600 Discount

With all the mirrorless craziness going on right now, one could easily forget that cameras like the Nikon D750 are still highly dependable and nearly indestructible workhorses for any hybrid shooter. The first of our deals features a full frame 24 MP sensor shooting 6.5 fps with continous autofocus and 1080 60p with good autofocus. The battery grip improves the FPS in photo mode, and the battery pack will keep you shooting for hours. The included shoulder bag provides ample storage space for the body, two lenses and a few accessories.

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Google Pixel 3 Users Are Reporting Camera Failures

 Gear  Comments Off on Google Pixel 3 Users Are Reporting Camera Failures
Nov 202018
 

As friends and families get ready to get together for the holiday season, Google Pixel 3 owners are experiencing a bug that could get in the way of capturing special memories. People are reporting camera error messages and their phones failing to launch the highly-touted camera.

Charged reports that hundreds of Pixel 3 owners have taken to online channels such as Reddit and the Google Product Forums with complaints that their cameras are no longer working.

For users affected by the bug, their cameras are unreliable — it frequently shows “Camera Error” messages and some users have resorted to rebooting their devices multiple times a day to get the camera temporarily working again until the next error shows up. Others have found that rebooting doesn’t fix the problem.

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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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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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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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