We caught up with Zacuto at Cine Gear 2016 to showcase one of their latest products, the Grip Series Batteries. There is a 75Wh and 100Wh version, both featuring 2 D-tap outputs to power camera & accessories, and a fuss-free clip-on method for 15mm rod systems. Zacuto bill this the first of its kind. It’s actually the second, if you count the first time Hawk-Woods released them. Yes, for the eagle-eyed this is the same system Hawk-Woods produce, Zacuto has simply taken on the global distribution of the product. The Gripper Series Batteries fill a void that many shooters find themselves in. There is an ever-present modularity concept to cameras nowadays, every rig is different and is usually made up of several accessories from several different companies. Powering them all can be a task in itself. D-tap (or P-Tap, same thing) has been the industry standard for a long time; grab a V-lock or gold mount battery kit, get a distribution plate or simple D-tap splitter and power everything off one big battery. A great solution, but it’s expensive; a set of 4 good V-locks and charger will set you back $1000-2000. D-tap outputs via camcorder batteries have grown in popularity but they often don’t have the capacity/form factor to hold up. The Gripper Series offers a cheaper alternative to condensing all your power options, that doubles up nicely as a counter-balance weight for your rig. It’s fuss-free; simply clip it onto a pair of 15mm rods; the AC adaptor for the charger clips on in a similar way. There will also be a selection of accessories that enable you to connect additional cable-less D-tap ports. Check out this article where we caught up with Hawk-woods at BVE 2016. This is a similar battery system sold that uses the same concept, you can see the accessories in action here. Both Gripper series are available for pre-order now, check the links below. You can also pre-order the 4-way D-tap adaptor, fast charger and dual fast charger.Read more
If your working tool of choice happens to be a micro four-thirds camera, then you know the problem. You’ll need some kind of focal reducer in order to make proper use of decent full frame glass like the Canon EF L Series. But Aputure doesn’t stop at that. They just have released their DEC LensRegain adapter, highly anticipated since the NAB 2015, which is not only a focal reducer but a whole wireless camera control! Nino Leitner caught up with them at Cine Gear 2016. Focal reducer vs. focus & aperture control A good year ago, Aputure introduced their DEC wireless focus & aperture adapter. That was (and still is) a cool little piece of gear, suffering from one disadvantage: it isn’t compatible with the Metabones Speedbooster. If you were shooting on a Panasonic GH4, for instance, then you had to decide: you could either use an EF lens with the DEC wireless adapter but with a massive crop factor as a result, or you could reduce the crop factor with the use of a Speedbooster and give up the wireless focus and aperture capabilities. The Aputure DEC LensRegain attached to a Lumix GH4 The Aputure DEC LensRegain So there was always an either/or decicion to be made… until now. The Aputure DEC LensRegain offers both: it is a focal reducer and a remote camera control. First of all this, adapter sports a built-in 0.75x focal reducing optical element, which is a necessity if you want to make good use of EF glass on a micro 4/3 sensor. On top of that, Aputure merged this focal reducing adapter with their existing wireless control tech from their original DEC adapter in the form of an receiver which connects directly to the LensRegain. With an OLED screen which displays the current (and already calculated) T-stop, this module alone is a very neat little device which also connects wirelessly to the remote tripod-grip style unit. The LensRegain gives you not only an extra stop of aperture and the ability to work with a decent crop factor, but also allows you to start/stop the camera from the control handle, as well as wirelessly controlling aperture and focus. You even can program two focus points for precise focus racks. Pretty cool! The battery life of the receiver module is set to 4 hours and the hand grip unit should last for a week which seems to be more than sufficient. The grip can be operated within a 100m range from the receiver, making it possible to operate in crane setups and other scenarios in which the camera is hard to reach. The main competitor for this DEC LensRegain adapter is, of course, the Metabones Speedbooster Ultra which sports a 0.71x focal reducing element. The resulting image is a little bit wider than the image from the 0.75x LensRegain adapter. On the other hand, the Speedbooster is a little more expensive ($649) than the LensRegain ($589) and it lacks all the wireless camera control capabilities. One thing to note, though: you can’t control the aperture manually on your camera while the LensRegain adapter is attached to it. Only the wireless hand unit works and it blocks the manual camera dial. Pricing and availability The Aputure DEC LensRegain is available as of now and it retails for $589 with everything you’ll need to get it working. DEC LensRegain adapter receiver module hand grip mounting clamp for the hand grip hard case Our European followers can get Apurture’s device from Amazon UK by clicking here or Amazon Germany by clicking here Also make sure to visit the german distributor Equiprent if you are located in germany. For more information, please visit aputure.comRead more
Check out the Zacuto Trigger Arm system: its quick release design allows you easily pivots at the joints, allowing for convenient storage and ergonomics. Zacuto Product Designer Steve Weiss told Nino all about it at Cine Gear 2016 at Paramount Studios Hollywood. The battle for shoulder rig comfort continues. The new Zacuto Trigger Arm is the latest newcomer to an ever more populated market of accessories for cameras such as the Sony FS5, Sony FS7, and Canon Cinema line, whose usability benefits greatly from a good shoulder rig and grip arm. Nino has reviewed the Shape FS7 Extension Handle in a video review already, which is the closest match to this upcoming Zacuto product. The Zacuto trigger arm works by connecting the grip of your choice to their existing shoulder rig, allowing you to quickly pivot it out of the way with the flick of a knob. This means you can quickly set the camera on a flat surface, or even store your camera in a case or bag without having to remove the arm. The arms themselves are all slightly different depending on the camera they’re designed for, but what they all have in common is their multiple angle adjustments to give you just the position you need to stay comfortable during those long shooting days. The Zacuto Trigger Arm system can also be used with other arms, as the main connection is a standard 15mm rod. The Zacuto Trigger Arm will be available soon, and we will keep you updated with all the relevant links.Read more
I caught up with Aputure at Cine Gear 2016, where they introduced the Aputure Light Storm COB 120t LED light, which has the output power of approximately a 1.5K tungsten lamp, while being a hard light. LED lights are here to stay – 1×1 panels with hundreds of small LED diodes are used throughout the world for energy-efficient soft lighting that can also be powered by battery. In the past it was quite hard to make LEDs strong enough so they could used as individual sources of light, which is why they always had to be combined in bigger arrays, which created a host of problems. Lately however, we have seen more and more hard light single LED solutions come to the market. Johnnie recently reviewed the Kinotehnik Practilite 602 (click here), which is a similar light from another manufacturer. Now also Aputure have released one, the Light Storm COB 120t. In this video, Ted from Aputure gave me a run-through of the new light, here are some of the highlights: TLCI of 97+ and CRI of 97, which is mind-boggling color accuracy, something that was unheard of only a few years ago for LED lights, which only shows how much the technology has advanced. Its output equals the output of a 1.5K tungsten lamp, which is impressive. The native color temperature is 3000K. Its fan is very quiet, they use the same large fans as the MacPro from Apple. It really shouldn’t interrupt shoots but I am going to test that as soon as we have the test unit in house. Aputure have separated the light control operation from the actual light, which means you can conveniently dim it from a wired controller box. There is also a wireless remote included. A nice nod to the photography community is the inclusion of the Bowen-s Mount, which is a standard for many chimeras, beauty dishes etc. – that means that this light is compatible with a multitude of modifiers that have been available forever. That’s indeed a huge plus! I will review this light soon, stay tuned for it over the next few weeks! If you are one of our European followers, you can get this light by clicking the Amazon UK link here.Read more
SLR Magic announced their new 35mm F1.2 and 75mm F1.4 cine lenses at Cine Gear this week. Nino spoke with Andrew Chan in Hollywood and had a look at the new lenses. Known for their innovative fast primes and anamorphic lenses, SLR Magic (AKA Noktor) are announcing a new pair of cine lenses for FE and E mount cameras in the 35mm and 75mm focal lengths with very fast apertures of f1.2 and f1.4 respectively. Not only that, they are extremely affordable at $499 each. It’s not everyday that you can get such a wide aperture and wide field of view lens for under $500, especially with the quality of SLR Magic lenses! They are fully manual with a de-clicked aperture. If you’re a filmmaker using a Sony camera such as the FS5 or FS7 (or smaller SLR or mirrorless) and desire that extreme shallow depth of field, these proprietary FE/E-mount lenses can certainly provide that wide aperture for really surrounding your subjects in bokeh. The choice of focal lengths and field of view are ideal for portraits, interiors, landscapes and architecture. The 35mm prime is always a go to lens for cinematography and video, and 75mm is an interesting choice similar to the standard 85mm which at f1.4 will be perfect for photographing and filming portraits. The lenses feature an all-manual design with built-in gears for use with follow focus systems. They are built for reliability and resilience, ideal when shooting in extreme conditions. Tech specs of the SLR Magic 35mm model Fast prime lens at f1.2. Compatible with FE and E-mount cameras. 9 elements in 8 groups. Minimum focus distance of 0.3m (30cm). Manual aperture with 13 blades. Min aperture F16. 52mm filter thread (non rotating). Black anodized finish. 77.40mm in length, 64.73mm in diameter. 535g/18.87oz in weight. Tech specs of the SLR Magic 75mm model Fast prime lens at f1.4 Compatible with FE and E-mount cameras. 6 elements in 6 groups Minimum focus distance of 0.7m (70cm). Manual aperture with 13 blades Min aperture of F16 52mm filter thread (non rotating). Black anodized finish. 78.68mm in length, 64.67mm in diameter 455g/16.05oz in weight. Judging from the high build and image quality of SLR Magic’s current line-up of both regular and anamorphic glass, we can say we’re keen to have a closer look at these lenses at Cine Gear. They will be available to see for the first time at the LA Cinematography expo at the ATOMOS booth, and will be available from authorized dealers by August 2016.Read more
It’s only been a few weeks since we last talked to Rob from Bright Tangerine at NAB 2016. However, the company has kept quite busy and were eager to show us some of their newest products. Geared Grad Tray This add-on to Bright Tangerine‘s Strummer DNA matte box allows you to control the position of a graduated filter by raising or lowering the filter tray. The mechanism works via a whip similar to those you can use on follow focus gears, with support on both sides of the tray for added stability. The Geared Grad Tray easily attaches to the back of the matte box, and is available in both 4×5.65 or 6×6 filter size. New Top Flag This new model will phase out existing top flags for this matte box. The advantage is that it now allows you to fully cover the front of the matte box when lowered down, protecting the front of your lens and filters during down time or lunch breaks (“Lunch breaks? What are those?” I hear some of you ask yourselves). Gloves Bright Tangerine have also developed gloves combining durable leather and lightweight materials. The result is a very useful pair of gloves suitable for all aspects of production. And it’s designed to even work on touch screens. These new products – along with the Revolver follow focus unit which they demonstrated at NAB 2016 – will be available from their store in approximately six weeks’ time. Thanks again to Rob Eagle from Bright Tangerine!Read more
A few days ago we brought you news of the recently unveiled Millenium DXL 8K. This beast of a camera is a collaboration between Panavision, RED and Light Iron, resulting in a incredible match between camera, optics, sensor and colour science technology. We caught up with Michael Cioni, CEO of Light Iron, who told us more about the Millenium DXL at Cine Gear 2016. Michael was eager to thank the filmmaking community after the announcement received such a warm response. And how could there not be one? The Millenium DXL marries the best aspects of each of the companies that made this product possible, making this really a dream-team camera. On the one hand, Panavision’s camera technology allows for a completely modular design. Not just in the physical sense, Michael explains, but also electronically, as the individual camera modules such as power, audio or communications, can be swapped and even replaced in the future without the need to develop a new camera body. The 8K RED Weapon sensor is a perfect fit for a camera like this, working in tandem with a legacy of over 60 years of Panavision lenses. Finally, behind it all, the Light Iron Color matrix works to replicate a highly stylised cinema look. Needless to say, we are all eagerly expecting the first sample footage from the Millenium DXL. The camera itself though? Not available until the end of the year.Read more
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