by Tim Fok | 28th September 2015
As of today, the Nebula 4200 will be available for pre-order. Filmpower were responsible for one of the first pistol grip stabilizers, their innovation has continued with an affordable sub $1000 5-axis stabilizer – the Nebula 4200. Not much has been covered since its original announcement a few months ago; here is the Nebula 4200 at BIRTV 2015 in August: The stand-alone feature of this stabilizer is the fact that it’ll account for 5 axis: vertical, horizontal, pitch, yaw and roll. That all important spring loaded section is reminiscent of a steadicam arm, controlling the vertical axis (something gimbal devices like the Movi really miss). The Nebula will be available in 3 versions, Lite (one handle) Pro (dual handle) and 5-axis stabilizer version (dual handle with spring section for vertical axis). You’ll be happy to hear that all will retail at under $1k: $799, $899, and $999 respectively. “What else makes the Nebula 4200 so remarkable? Aside from the 5 axes controls, the Nebula 4200 Gimbal contains a 32-bit board dual sensor controller. In addition to increased operation speeds and precision control, this new 32-bit board allows users to carry up to 1.6kg (3.5 lbs)” The above payload and it’s form factor means the Nebula 4200 will be compatible with compact DSLR and mirrorless cameras. It’s nice to see that the Nebula 4200 will feature tool-less adjustment, something we usually miss out on with cheaper stablizers. Also keep an eye out for optional wireless joystick to control the gimbal.Read more
by Tim Fok | 6th January 2015
Panasonic has announced a new line of sub $1k camcorders, most interestingly is the HC-WX970, a 4K enabled camera capable of up to 120fps in 1080. The Panasonic HC-WX970 has all the tell tail signs of a consumer camcorder; the grip-with-one-hand form factor, broad selection of in-built effects such as sepia and grainy, the ability to categorize your thumbnails with reference to the birth date of your baby, heck even an additional swivelling camera to record picture-in-picture selfies whilst you shoot! The fact that Panasonic now adds 4K recording to the form factor on its own does little for the professionals, although it does add traction to the debate that 4K has in fact arrived and is here to stay. Ignoring all of the Daddy friendly tech jargon, and imagining for a second it was a cool, hip looking mirrorless camera, should we be making more of a deal about it? Let’s take a looks at what it offers. The 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor provides 4K up to 30p, 1080 up to 120 fps (it can actually achieve 240fps via frame interpolation but lets pretend we didn’t hear that), bolted in front is a 20x optical zoom lens (at 4K that’s 30-626mm in 35mm terms) with a f/1.8-3.6 aperture range. It features Panasonics 5-axis HYBRID OIS system, an example of which can be seen below (pictured is the HC-V700) It also features a new HDR movie mode, the HC-WX970 takes two exposures and stitches them together to obtain more dynamic range. Here’s a video of that below: It records to SD cards in an AVCHD based MP4 file. Doing a little digging to find out about data rates, Panasonic ambiguously list on their site 1080/50p (28Mbps / VBR). If the same data rate is maintained for 24/25/50 framerates then it’s not too bad for a consumer camera. However, if it’s half due to the reduction in frames that’s a little disappointing. Being a strict consumer camcorder, it’s not a product for us to get overly excited about. But on paper, the features the HC-WX970 packs look great for aerial filmmaking. 4K, high framerate 1080, hybrid 5-axis I.O.S HDR movie mode in a 360g camera is fantastic (half the weight of a GH4 with lens). The codec and lack of picture profile control could be a big let down however. If you fancy the Panasonic HC-WX970 for some drone stuff, or maybe have a baby on the way, it’s available for pre-order now using the link below.Read more
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