41 7 1 Rhino Arc II – 4 Axis Motorized Head and Slider for Automated Camera Movement

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on 41 7 1 Rhino Arc II – 4 Axis Motorized Head and Slider for Automated Camera Movement
Nov 282018
 

There’s no shortage of solutions for automated camera movement on the market right now. However the Rhino Arc II tries to distinguish itself with some outstanding features, like the integrated focus motor, high load capacity of 15 lbs / 6,8 kg, the ability to do Light Lapses (day-to-night timelapses) and lots of other neat little features, that promise to make it easier to use than the competition out there. The Rhino Arc II is currently being funded on Kickstarter, with its initial funding goal of $50,000 already more than doubled. Here’s everything you need to know, to decide if you want to back it too.

The Rhino Arc II can be considered something of a new take on the usual “slider-with-a-pan-and-tilt-head” style solution. First of all everything is highly modular.  In accordance to the claim of 4 axes (focus being one “axis”), the main parts of the Rhino Arc II system are: a motorized pan and tilt head, a focus motor, a slider motor and the sliders themselves. The interesting part is that the head is designed so that it can be used separately, say on a tripod, either as an automated head, or just as a motorized yet hand-controlled head using two ergonomically placed joysticks to control the pan and tilt, as well as focus and slide. This in itself is an interesting concept at this price point. Of course the system also comes with an app, to help control the head, plan movements and add new features (like the Light Lapse feature). The head has a load capacity of 15 lbs / 6,8 kg, features a high capacity battery with a DC out to power your camera and a built-in Manfrotto 501 plate receiver. This capacity will give you enough leeway to use most smaller cinema cameras, even rigged. The battery has a capacity of 60Wh, will power your timelapses for up to 48h and can be charged in around two hours.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter Review – a new Gold Standard?

 Cinematography  Comments Off on PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter Review – a new Gold Standard?
Aug 112018
 

I first got to know PolarPro cinema series ND filters about 1.5 years ago when I was conducting a GoPro Hero camera review fitted with their set of filters. (See my review here). Now they are venturing into the professional large diameter filter world (up to 82mm), essentially claiming a neutral color balance and near perfect optical quality. Is this claim true? Read on to find out. 

PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter

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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Intro to Video: A Photographer’s Guide to Filmmaking

 Cinematography, Technique  Comments Off on Intro to Video: A Photographer’s Guide to Filmmaking
Aug 012018
 

As more and more people call themselves “professional photographers,” the need to diversify and offer other services to your clients is rapidly growing. With social media and advertising visuals fighting for more and more of our attention, the importance of video is at an all time high. Luckily, if you are a photographer, you already have 90% of the tools you need to start making professional videos and multimedia productions. This new Fstoppers tutorial on videography is aimed at helping both professional and amateur photographers take the gear they already own and start producing high quality videos. There is no better time to learn how to film video than right now!

Intro to Videography

The idea behind the Fstoppers website was first born back in 2010 when Patrick Hall and Lee Morris both had an interest in learning how to shoot video. Having both been successful wedding photographers, Patrick and Lee saw the value videography could supply to their own photography businesses. Over the years, Fstoppers has grown from a little side project used to explore behind the scenes videos into a full blown world wide community of photographers and videographers. Since 2010 when DSLRs first started shooting high definition video, Lee and Patrick have seen photographers and social media influencers transitioning to video at an alarming rate. In today’s cut throat market, the trend is very clear: if you are not incorporating video along side you photography, you are going to get left behind.

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Call to Action for All Sony Shooters: Test Your Lens Adapter for Sharpness

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Call to Action for All Sony Shooters: Test Your Lens Adapter for Sharpness
Jul 232018
 

With the exodus of Canon users to Sony’s Alpha series, adapters have become incredibly important, particularly the Metabones V and the Sigma MC-11. Photographer Luis Gabriel Gerena has done a comparison and produced some slightly alarming — albeit very limited — results regarding sharpness when shooting with a wide angle lens.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Gerena’s results are based on just one comparison and one lens, so here’s our call to action: if you have access to both the Sigma MC-11 and the Metabones V, please perform your own test with your widest lens and post the results below.

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Mounting a 70-200mm Lens on the Ronin S

 Gear  Comments Off on Mounting a 70-200mm Lens on the Ronin S
Jul 162018
 

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to mount a longer lens like an 85-200mm on to a gimbal and get footage with it. I feel like a lot of video we see shot on a gimbal is from a wide angle lens, but in this video we see something a little more interesting.

My curiosity about mounting a telephoto lens to a gimbal came from a while ago when I saw that the Inspire could mount different lenses. Being so into drones, I really wanted to have that ability and create this new look from the sky. Once I ended up with my Inspire 2, I began to learn how to fly a 25mm and 45mm lens which both double in focal length because of the micro 4/3 sensor. After a good amount of practice flying, I was finally able to achieve the shots I wanted and have been using this for a lot of my work ever since.

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Panasonic EVA1 Guide by Barry Green now Available – For Free

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic EVA1 Guide by Barry Green now Available – For Free
Jul 102018
 

Do you own a Panasonic AU-EVA1 camera? Tired of digging through YouTube and/or shady forums to get additional intel on how to squeeze the very last piece of performance out of it? Well, look no further. Barry Green has published a comprehensive e-book – An EVA1 Guide for free!

Almost every major camera manufacturer has its own industry specialist. One who knows every last detail of a given camera and spreads the word among the community. Sony has Alister Chapman, RED has Phil Holland and Panasonic? Well, Panasonic has Barry Green. And that exact Barry Green has just published an extensive e-book, an EVA1 guide.

Panasonic AU-EVA1 Guide

Just as Alister Chapman’s guide to the Sony FS7 Cine EI mode, this EVA1 guide isn’t just a manual. It’s a comprehensive real-life guide to the camera. Since Barry Green is a professional in his line of work, this guide is far from real-life Youtube flicks which oftentimes come without too much insight.. This guide to the EVA1 covers everything there is: The camera body itself with all the connectors, buttons and dials, the menu structure, codecs and recordings formats, LUTs and looks, and everything else. All in one PDF. For a brief overview of the camera in question, watch the video below, also hosted by Barry Green:

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SLR Magic Anamorphot 65 Adapter Review – Your Alternative to Anamorphic Lenses?

 Gear  Comments Off on SLR Magic Anamorphot 65 Adapter Review – Your Alternative to Anamorphic Lenses?
Jul 052018
 

Last month we reported about the new Anamorphot 65, an anamorphic lens adapter by SLR Magic that can mount to lenses with 82mm front thread like SLR Magic’s own micro cinema primes and FUJINON’s MK family of lenses. There is also a chance that by the time you read this review, this promising adapter will be available for preorder. 

 

SLR Magic Anamorphot 65 anamorphic adapter on a Sony a7 III camera

Nino, my colleague, caught up with Andrew from SLR Magic during this year’s CineGear to discuss the new product, yet it was time to actually test it and put it through its paces.

The Anamorphic Lens Routine

First thing first: Why should one actually consider “shooting anamorphic”?, well, the answer is clear. If you are looking to mimic the true aesthetic of cinematic looks, then shooting with an anamorphic lens is the way to go. As this is a product review I will not go deep into the subject anamorphic filming, but please consider heading to our cinema5D essentials episode where Li-Lian and I were aiming to explain what anamorphic filming is all about….

Ok, so if shooting with anamorphic lenses has the benefit of producing a unique look, why is it not too widely spread? In short: budget and training. TRUE high quality anamorphic lenses simply coast A LOT, far beyond the budget of most independent filmmakers. There are, of course, ways to track and purchase vintage anamorphic lenses, but this is not too easy. Speaking of anamorphic – I urge you to visit our friend and content contributor, Tito Fernandez’ YouTube channel, where he demonstrates a great deal of knowledge and shares valuable tips for anamorphic lens and adapter lovers.

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Drone Comparison: New Parrot Anafi vs. DJI Mavic Air

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Drone Comparison: New Parrot Anafi vs. DJI Mavic Air
Jun 072018
 

Parrot just announced a new drone that may be able to challenge DJI’s domination in the hobby market. Let’s take a look at the specifications and check if the French manufacturer can take on the Chinese leader.

Size, Weight and Speed

The two drones are fighting in the similar lightweight category but the Anafi is lighter than the Mavic air at 374 grams versus 430 grams. It can be a curse or a blessing. Lighter drones tend to sustain less damage in case of crash but more weight also helps to stabilize the frame.

The Mavic Air wins the top speed category (42mph) but the Anafi is not too far behind (33mph). The key factor is to determine the maximum usable speed because the sport mode on DJI drones is not very good to record video (propellors in the field of view, limited stabilization) but it can help to fly back against strong winds.

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DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro Footage Comparison

 Action cams, Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro Footage Comparison
May 282018
 

After our hands-on with the Mavic Air in Monaco earlier this year, it was time to put the Mavic Air up against its older brother, the Mavic Pro, and compare the footage. Which footage holds up better?

Does the Mavic Air Make Superior Images?

The irony about new technology is often that newer generations are simply better, even in a model that sits in a lower price bracket than a predecessor that is still in the market. And this is exactly what we are seeing with the new Mavic Air, which I took for a hands-on spin at their press event in Monaco earlier this year (watch the video here). The Mavic Air is a classic example for this conundrum that many manufacturers face, unless they want to artificially strip newer technology off of some of the features of older, but “higher end” version of their products (C200, cough-cough!).

When the Sony a7S III Is Announced, What Features Are Make or Break?

 Gear  Comments Off on When the Sony a7S III Is Announced, What Features Are Make or Break?
May 282018
 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z97p00uQ3Ik

Each day that passes is another day closer to the announcement of the Sony a7S III. We all know it’s coming, but what new features should it have?

In September 2015, Sony announced the a7S II sporting a groundbreaking sensor specializing in low light videography. As time went on, other companies introduced very competitive alternatives that either matched or exceeded many of the a7S II’s video specifications. Personally, I think it’s a little uncharacteristic for the Sony of the past few years give their competitors enough time to catch up. But what this may mean in the end is that they have something worth waiting for.

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The Fundamental Terms of Lighting in Photography

 Technique  Comments Off on The Fundamental Terms of Lighting in Photography
May 172018
 

When you’re first starting out with artificial lighting, the vast array of terms to describe and quantify the various parameters of light can be a bit overwhelming. This helpful video will introduce you to the most essential terms that will allow to effectively communicate how any light source behaves.

Coming to you from Mark Wallace of Adorama TV, this great video will introduce you to the fundamental language of lighting and how it’s used in practice. I know that when I first started, trying to learn them abstracted from experimenting with an actual light source felt a bit like trying to speak French in Russian. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to understand these terms so you can communicate how you want light to look. Once you’re ready, this, in turn, will allow you to better choose the proper modifier for a specific shoot. Even if you prefer to shoot natural light, this terminology still applies, and it’ll lend you a greater ability to understand how and why your final image looks the way it does and how to take control of that. As mentioned, I recommend grabbing a light and modifier and trying it out so you can see the effects in real time. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

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