SmallHD Wireless Monitors – FOCUS Bolt TX and RX

 Gear  Comments Off on SmallHD Wireless Monitors – FOCUS Bolt TX and RX
May 032018
 

At NAB 2018, SmallHD showed off new wireless versions of their popular 5″ FOCUS monitor and we spoke with the company Co-Founder, Wes Phillips, to get all the details. Like the Bolt 703, SmallHD has merged their FOCUS 5-inch monitor with Teradek’s wireless capabilities and the results could be welcome news for directors or for clients looking for portable field monitor solutions.

We already covered the announcement of the transmitter and receiver versions of the FOCUS Bolt, but we thought it would be useful to catch up with SmallHD Co-Founder, Wes Phillips, and see the product for ourselves. After going hands on with the new monitors it appears that the FOCUS Bolt TX and RX are among the lightest wireless monitor/receiver solutions available. Shipping along with the 5-inch FOCUS touchscreen are the lightweight grippy monitor handles and a Sony L series battery. Of course, you can also power the monitors with a D-Tap cable.

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Review: Anthem One Could Be the Next Great LED Light to Save Your Production Big Bucks

 Gear  Comments Off on Review: Anthem One Could Be the Next Great LED Light to Save Your Production Big Bucks
May 032018
 

Anthem is a new company. So we didn’t know what to expect when we sat down with their new LED light that promises to far outlast any HMI while promising the implied savings that could drive down production costs.

The Anthem One isn’t just any continuous LED light source. Every aspect has been designed to perform at its highest level. Heat is the enemy of long-lasting LEDs, so Anthem designed their debut light system to dissipate heat better than other lights do.

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What Nikon F to Sony E Adapter Is the Best Choice?

 Gear  Comments Off on What Nikon F to Sony E Adapter Is the Best Choice?
May 022018
 

If you are a Nikon user thinking about making the switch to Sony cameras, you probably wonder what adapter could help you make a smooth and cheap transition by keeping your precious glass. In this video, Matt Granger shows you the different adapters available for you and which one is the best — or the less bad.

Switching from one camera manufacturer to another is always a pain because of all the lenses accumulated that must be replaced. It can be difficult to sell them, and it’s not rare to lose a bit of money along the way. With the mirrorless systems, what’s great is the possibility of using adapters to keep the glass from our current system. Many Canon users have had a smooth transition by doing so, but we hear less Nikon users telling similar stories.

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Transform Your DJI Drone in a Handheld Gimbal With This Accessory by PolarPro

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Transform Your DJI Drone in a Handheld Gimbal With This Accessory by PolarPro
Apr 122018
 

Everyone I know who shoots video dreams to own a gimbal if they don’t already. But did you know that if you have a drone, you actually already own a gimbal that you can use to shoot anything?

The role of the gimbal is to keep something horizontal no matter what. When flying a drone, it’s quite essential to maintain the camera stable and avoid any movement due to external elements or when flying it aggressively. However, a drone can also record videos and take pictures while on the ground. This means you can use it as a camera and take advantage of its gimbal to make super steady shots even if you don’t own a stabilizer for your bigger DSLR.

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Sony Interview: FS5 II, What’s REALLY New?

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sony Interview: FS5 II, What’s REALLY New?
Apr 092018
 

I spoke with Claus Pfeifer from Sony about the newly announced FS5 II and the other new cameras. And I asked the tough question: What’s REALLY new about the FS5 II?

A few hours ago Sony announced the FS5 II, an update to Sony’s little FS7 brother (see our report here). Some of our readers were asking: What’s REALLY new about it though? It seems to use the same sensor and have the same exact body as the original FS5. And while the FS7 II at least got the Vari ND feature that the FS7 was missing, the original FS5 already had that.

 

RAW for “free”, Better Color Science & “Instant HDR”

Sony is teasing the integrated RAW output functionality in the FS5 II, which was a payable firmware upgrade in the original FS5 – a welcome addition of a feature becoming standard, especially with the newly announced ProRes RAW (article here) and the upgrade of the Atomos Shogun Inferno and Sumo19 recorders to support ProRes RAW recording (article here). Now also the formerly payable high frame rate output and internal high frame rate recording capabilities are included with the FS5 II.

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K Camera Hands on with CEO Grant Petty

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K Camera Hands on with CEO Grant Petty
Apr 092018
 

No longer only a mysterious billboard outside NAB 2018, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K camera is here and it shoots 12-bit RAW cinema 4K 60fps and full HD at up to 120fps — all at an impressive price point. The specs, pricing and more are below including an interview with Blackmagic Design CEO, Grant Petty: 

 

Unlike its HD-only predecessor, the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera, the new 4K version shoots full cinema 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) at up-to 60fps with a newly designed M4/3 (21.60 x 17.30mm) sensor. You’ll also be able to capture full HD 120 fps cropped (no info on how much of a crop) slow motion in both 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW and 10-bit Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) varieties. Unfortunately you won’t be able to shoot in the newly announced Pro Res RAW  at least not yet.

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Pre-Order Now:

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Body Only with Active Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount

$1295 with Free Expedited Shipping.

Aputure Amaran MX & F7 LED Lights Announced & Reviewed

 Gear  Comments Off on Aputure Amaran MX & F7 LED Lights Announced & Reviewed
Apr 022018
 

Aputure just announced their new small and super powerful MX and F7 LED lights, and our man Eric van Vuuren already reviewed them in detail in this video.

Aputure Amaran MX – small with big output

The new Amaran MX light by Aputure is the successor of the popular M9 light, but this time it’s very sturdily built using aircraft aluminium, on the footprint of a credit card. It features 128 LEDs and is supposed to be 3 times as bright as the M9 – when using the “booster” function, it can temporarily output even 4 times as much light as the M9 (for up to 60 seconds).

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Tilta Introduces New Gravity G2 and G2X Handheld Gimbals

 Gear  Comments Off on Tilta Introduces New Gravity G2 and G2X Handheld Gimbals
Mar 142018
 

Tilta has updated their popular line of handheld gimbals. The new Gravity G2 and G2X gimbals feature updated specs, ergnomics and features.

The two models are almost identically when digging through the specs but there’s one significant differene: The G2X model sports an angled roll axis which can be configured to sit either in front of, or behind your given camera, resulting in an unobstructed view of the LCD screen.

Tilta Gravity G2 & G2X Gimbal

Both models offer a payload of up to 8 lbs (3.6 kg). The pan and tilt axes feature full 360° of rotation while the roll axis can be rotated 60° to the left or right. In order get you up to speed, watch the introduction video below:

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Canon M50 Hands-On Review – The Best Vlogging Camera?

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon M50 Hands-On Review – The Best Vlogging Camera?
Mar 142018
 

The Canon M50 was recently announced, and now I had a chance to review a pre-production version of it. Is Canon’s first attempt at a 4K mirrorless camera also the best vlogging camera out there? Let’s have a look.

A Beginner’s Camera

I can’t stress this point enough before diving deep into the camera’s functions: This is a beginner’s camera and its price point (below $800 or €600) make it a great deal compared to its competition. So whenever I lament about a missing function, this should be kept in mind. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison with the more expensive entry-level camera from Sony, the A6500, which is almost twice as expensive.

Tiny Footprint

The Canon M50 has a tiny footprint, and is sturdily built around Canon’s EOS M lens mount. A smaller version of the EOS lens mount – which is also backwards-compatible, but an adapter is needed. The camera feels very sturdy despite its entry-level status and it feels like it can take a beating. It seems like Canon designed this as a “family camera” that can be in anyone’s hand from time to time. The flip-out screen makes it very convenient to use from every angle. It gives a lot of  nice flexibility that their higher-end DSLR offerings are missing – lightness and the flexible screen, plus a decent viewfinder which can of course also be used for video. “Of course” because this is a mirrorless camera – on their DSLRs, the optical viewfinder becomes useless when you switch to the video modes, because the mirror blocks your view.

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Seven More of the Best Nikon Tricks

 Gear  Comments Off on Seven More of the Best Nikon Tricks
Mar 132018
 

Although it is popular to talk about mirrorless cameras these days, DSLR cameras are still alive, and with the help of some useful tricks, you can make the most of your DSLR. Especially if you own a Nikon camera, you might be surprised with these features that most photographers skip using.

Well-known nature photographer Steve Perry has published a video previously about Nikon tricks, and in this second video of the series, he shares seven new tricks about Nikon cameras, with in-depth explanations.

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The $2,000 Sony a7 III vs. the $3,200 Sony a7R III: Here’s the Difference

 Gear  Comments Off on The $2,000 Sony a7 III vs. the $3,200 Sony a7R III: Here’s the Difference
Mar 122018
 

 

Portrait photographer Manny Ortiz recently got his hands on the newly-announced Sony a7 III full-frame mirrorless camera, allowing him to compare the $2,000 camera to his $3,200 Sony a7R III. Here’s a 6-minute video in which he compares the cameras and discusses the strengths of each one.

“The experience of shooting in the real world, there was no difference than when I was shooting with my Sony a7R III, in autofocus performance, in everything,” Ortiz says.

Here are the pros of each system mentioned by Ortiz in the video:

Reasons for a7 III over a7R III

#1. Price. You save $1,200.

#2. Workflow. If you don’t need the extra resolution, the 24MP files will be faster to work with and cheaper to store.

#3. Low Light. Ortiz concluded that the a7 III performs slightly better in low light, with less noise in the photos.

#4. Autofocus. The a7 III features 693 AF points with 93% viewfinder coverage compared to the 399 points and 68% coverage of the a7R III. But “in the real world, I didn’t notice any difference,” Ortiz notes.

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Read more Canon C200 vs Panasonic EVA1 – Zacuto Camera Shootout 2018

 Gear  Comments Off on Read more Canon C200 vs Panasonic EVA1 – Zacuto Camera Shootout 2018
Mar 122018
 

The Zacuto camera shootout is back! If you were wondering which was the better camera, then tune in to this smart and scrupulous battle going LIVE on March 14th at 11am CST.

The “Camera Shootout 2018 – Canon C200 vs Panasonic EVA1” hosted by Zacuto has a challenging mission: to put the Panasonic EVA1 and Canon C200 through a series of tests, and try and declare a “winner”. 

“Our shootouts are back!! Side by side, Bruce Logan, ASC put the Panasonic EVA1 and Canon C200 through a series of tests” as stated on the Facebook event page. 

I remember the fascinating “Great Camera Shootout 2011”, which I watched a couple times! The 2011 Zacuto camera shootout demonstrated side by side comparisons of the ARRI Alexa, Sony F35, Sony F3, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, Canon 1D Mark IV, Nikon D7000, Weisscam HS-2, Phantom Flex, Panasonic AG-AF100, RED ONE M-X and 35mm Kodak 5213 and 5219 film.

Yes, you heard right! The Canon 7D was compared to the ALEXA, and film against digital, all by carefully testing essential parameters like sharpness, low-light sensitivity, exposure, latitude, highlight detail, shadow detail, color quality, skin tone reproduction, compression losses and shutter artefacts.

Conducted by consultants, specialists and technicians from various areas of the motion picture industry, these on-set challenges were designed to push these cameras to the limit.

The 2011 battle was extremely educational and, in my opinion, must be watched by film educators, as the whole project is on Vimeo.

Take a look at the full sessions of the “Great Camera Shootout 2011”:

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SIGMA Unveils New Art Lenses for Sony E-Mount

 Gear  Comments Off on SIGMA Unveils New Art Lenses for Sony E-Mount
Mar 112018
 

Hot on the heels of this year’s CP+, which took place in Japan, our own Johnnie Behiri had the opportunity to chat with SIGMA’s Yamaki-san about the brand-new lineup of native Art lenses for Sony E-mount.

SIGMA’s lineup of Art labled lenses is extremely popular due to excellent optical performance and build quality. But although these lenses are available for a range of mounts including Canon, Nikon, Sony A and SIGMA, you couldn’t get a native SIGMA Art lens for Sony E-mount. Until now.

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Fujinon MKX – Unique X Series Features

 Gear  Comments Off on Fujinon MKX – Unique X Series Features
Mar 062018
 

The recently announced Fujinon MKX T2.9 cine lenses come with unique features for Fujifilm camera owners. We looked into them more closely …

The E-mount versions of these MK lenses have been a big hit with cinematographers. But this is about more than just a simple mount change. When pairing these new cine lenses with Fujifilm X Series cameras, such as the new X-H1, the electrical contacts on the lens pass data to the camera. This allows the the camera to correct lens distortion as well as colour and brightness shading.

Lens Data

The lens data passed to the camera includes iris (T-stop) data, as well as focus distance and zoom information. As well as the obvious benefit on seeing this information displayed on the cameras LCD monitor, it also apparently allows for improved white balancing. We will be reviewing these two new lenses soon, so it will be interesting to see how this innovative feature works.

The Fujinon MKX 18-55mm will retail for $3999. The Fujinon MKX 50-135mm will retail for $4299. As a recap, here are the main features of these two lenses:

Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 & Fujinon MKX 50-135mm T2.9

  • Use an optical construction comprising 22 glass elements in 17 groups, with six super ED lens elements and two ED lens elements (two super ED lens elements and two ED lens elements for the 50-135mm).
  • T2.9 aperture across the entire zoom range which facilitates the increasingly popular style of bokeh effect with shallow depth-of-field. This also eliminates the need to re-adjust lighting, contributing to shortening shooting time.
  • The MKX lens achieves advanced optical performance despite its compact and lightweight body by incorporating the benefits of short flange focal distance of X Mount into optical design to the maximum extent. This accommodates shooting with a limited number of people.

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Panavision Announces New Millennium DXL2 8K Camera with the RED Monstro 8K VV Sensor

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Panavision Announces New Millennium DXL2 8K Camera with the RED Monstro 8K VV Sensor
Feb 042018
 

The new Panavision Millenium DXL2 builds on the success of the original Millennium DXL. Both models operate in an ecosystem (or should I say marriage) between three top-class companies in the moving picture industry: Panavision, Light Iron and RED. However, this time the development of the camera has gone even further by incorporating Panavision with the RED MONSTRO 8K VV sensor, and Light Iron color2 science.

 

As stated by Michael Cioni, senior VP of Innovation at Panavision and Light Iron: “Panavision’s vast inventory of advanced large-format and anamorphic optics combined with RED’s MONSTRO imager expands what’s possible, allowing filmmakers to create radically inventive and powerfully cinematic images, customized for the needs of the project and the vision of creative teams.”

Watch the video below which demonstrates the DXL2 in action.

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Shootout: $4,990 Zeiss Otus 28mm vs $4,250 Leica Q

 Gear  Comments Off on Shootout: $4,990 Zeiss Otus 28mm vs $4,250 Leica Q
Jan 302018
 

In the pantheon of lens focal lengths, 28mm is a bit of an outlier. Photojournalists are more apt to reach for the 35mm, while many manufacturers have settled on 24mm for primes and the wide end of their zoom lenses. But 28mm has become visually familiar to consumers because its field-of-view equivalent can be found on many smartphones like the iPhone.

Zeiss caused a ruckus when it announced its line of Otus lenses in 2013; a line designed for maximum still photography performance with a weatherproof construction made of glass, aluminum, and rubber. Maximum quality also means eye-popping prices. The 28mm f/1.4 Otus can be yours for a touch under $5,000.

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Panasonic GH5S Video Hands-On – Highlights of the New Camera

 Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic GH5S Video Hands-On – Highlights of the New Camera
Jan 142018
 

The wait is over. Panasonic just announced their new flagship video-orientated mirrorless photo camera, the GH5S. Watch our GH5S Video Hands-on above! (And the Mini Documentary I’ve shot with that new camera) Promising to perform (much) better than its predecessor in low-light, the new camera was also designed to compete with Sony’s a7S series. Is it up to the task? In our opinion: YES! 

Before we get started:
Stay tuned to our continuous coverage of the new Panasonic GH5S. A short review and original footage is coming up today too. Tomorrow, please look out for Nino’s lowlight test/review video and on top, our exclusive interview with Yamane-san – head of Panasonic imaging division – where we ask the questions that deserve answers. Only on cinema5D.com!  

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Freefly Movi is a Cinematic Gimbal for Your Smartphone

 Gear  Comments Off on Freefly Movi is a Cinematic Gimbal for Your Smartphone
Dec 072017
 

 

Freefly creates professional drone and gimbal solutions for the cinema industry, and today it released a specialized gimbal for smartphones: the Freefly Movi.

“Movi’s incredible stabilization technology is the same found in our professional rigs,” says Freefly. “Freefly Gimbals are first-in-class stabilizers used in multimillion-dollar films.”

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10 Handy Photoshop Shortcuts for Working with Layers

 Technique  Comments Off on 10 Handy Photoshop Shortcuts for Working with Layers
Dec 072017
 

Adobe just released this helpful 2-minute video that shares 10 handy shortcuts you can use in Photoshop when working with layers.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 shortcuts (watch the video above for visual demonstrations):

1. Add layer masks to hide all

To quickly add a layer mask to hide all of a layer, just hold down the Option key on Mac (or Alt on Windows) and click on the “Add Layer Mask” button in the Layers panel.

2. Delete layer masks

Instead of dragging a layer mask into the bin, you can just right click the layer mask itself and delete it from the tooltip menu that appears.

3. Add a layer mask based on selections

Creating a layer mask of a selection you have made is a useful thing to do for Photoshop users. Clicking the “Add Layer Mask” button will reveal your selection, but if you want to hide it then you just need to hold the Option key on Mac (or Alt for Windows) while clicking.

4. Invert a layer mask

If you want to invert your layer mask, just hold Command + I on Mac (or Control + I on Windows) to quickly move between the two.

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The Steadicam Volt Smartphone Stabilizer is Now Shipping

 Gear  Comments Off on The Steadicam Volt Smartphone Stabilizer is Now Shipping
Nov 282017
 

We first reported about this product back in January 2017 upon launch of the Kickstarter campaign. The Steadicam Volt was developed by the Tiffen company, a pioneer in the camera stabilizing business, with its line of Steadicam stabilisers now a staple of the industry.

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