by Fabian Chaundy | 9th December 2016
The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is a new, third-party dual-lens system for the iPhone 7 Plus. It features a sleek and slim design that makes it unobtrusive and quick to use. Smartphone filmmaking is certainly a thing these days. Modern smartphones feature decent cameras that can be used in conjunction with a variety of apps, stabilisers and other accessories to produce very high quality content. Just take a look at this short film shot simultaneously on an iPhone 7 and a RED Weapon for the kind of end result you can achieve. By the way, if you want to learn more about iPhone filmmaking, make sure you check out this excellent article by cinema5D’s Richard Lackey. One of the limitations you may find on your journey as an iPhone cinematographer is your camera’s lens. Camera accessory manufacturer Kamerar has announced a product that promises to help you achieve more interesting images: it’s the Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit for the iPhone 7 Plus. The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit The main difference to other third-party lens options out there is how seamlessly it integrates with your iPhone 7 Plus. The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is based around an actual functional protective phone cover with access to all ports, meaning that you don’t have to whip out lens mounts whenever inspiration strikes and you change from phone mode to shooting mode. The back of the case features a slot in which to insert the different dual-lens setups, allowing you to quickly flip up the optics when you want to change your field of view and optical characteristics. This removes the need to screw and unscrew different lenses, and helps you save time when trying to get that unexpected shot. Kamerar claims their removable dual-lens system for the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is the first in the world, and this does in fact seem to be the case, as other third-party offerings only appear to make use of one of the cameras. In terms of lens options, the Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit product announcement revealed two dual-lens setups designed by Ztylus Innovations – a Macro Zoom that allows you to focus very close to your subject for striking detail, and a Fisheye/Telephoto that expands the optical zoom capabilities of the dual cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus. Sure, you might not have such a huge selection of optics as with the OlloClip system, and the lenses may not have the ZEISS logo like on ExoLens Pro. But the low-profile that the Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit offers, as well as the ease of use that allows you to change optical characteristics with a quick flick of your fingertips could make this product a favourite among iPhone filmmakers. If the price is competitive and the image quality stands up to the rigorous eye of filmmakers out there, this could turn out to be a very interesting product indeed. In the meantime, check out the sample footage below! There is no pricing or availability for the Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit yet, but we’ve reached out to them and will keep you posted. Would you pimp your iPhone 7 Plus with something like this? Have you tried any of the alternatives? Let us know in the comments below!Read more
by Tim Fok | 29th June 2016
Ikan released a handy-looking 7″ monitor earlier this year that’s now shipping in full flight. The Ikan DH7 is a slimline 4K ready 7″ IPS on-camera monitor, all in an impressive sub $500 package. So yeah, it looks like this product was announced some time ago, but it received little press; it wasn’t until a random Instagram post recently that I first heard of it. The Ikan DH7 is super slim and lightweight, the battery solution will exceed both aspects in most cases. It’s HDMI only (no SDI) but loops the same signal back out. What’s handy about this is how it deals with a 4K (up to 3840X2160) signal. While the DH7 features a 1920X1200 IPS panel, it will receive a 4K signal and pass it on via the HDMI out. This is a nice feature, as many current monitoring devices will downscale a 4K signal, meaning any output will be 1080p and thus making it hard to implement a full 4K workflow. The Ikan DH7 also utilizes a 4K signal to enhance features such as peaking and 1:1 pixel mapping for focus. While in the subject of features, here’s a list of focus and exposure support from the Ikan DH7: Histogram Audio level meters Monochrome Peaking False color Clip guides Movable 1:1 pixel mapping DSLR scaling Underscan From an ergonomics point of view, this is one of the thinnest and lightest 7″ monitors out there, at around half the weight of a SmallHD 702. You get threads on both sides and top/bottom for flexible mounting; the hood takes advantage of three of them when used also. Across the top you get a handful of function buttons, on/off switch and a menu wheel for toggling settings. Across the bottom you get your HDMI in/out, DC in for constant power, USB port for firmware updates and a headphone output for audio monitoring. It’s not a bright monitor: $499 gets you 300NITs of brightness so that shade will come in handy, I’m sure. Viewing angle is 178° on both axis and the contrast ratio is 800:1. It’ll receive all usual PAL/NTSC frame rates in interlaced, progressive and psf signals, as well as the aforementioned 4K (3840X2160) resolution and a few sub HD resolutions too. In terms of power, the Ikan DH7 ships with a Sony L-series plate as well as Canon LP-E6. Further mounts allow compatibility with additional batteries from Sony, Canon Nikon and Panasonic. By specification, this will make a good partner to the new 4K Sony Alpha Cameras (A7RII or A7SII), the fact that it’s HDMI only and price range reflects this. For more info click on the link below.Read more
by Tim Fok | 18th February 2016
SmallHD has expanded its 700 series line with announcement of two new 7″ monitors. Taking the slimline, smartphone-like interface goodness from the original 702 and reducing the resolution and OLED brightness output, we are presented with the much more cost effective 701 Lite and 702 Lite monitors. Just like the 500 series, we get SDI/HDMI and HDMI only flavours in the 702 Lite and 701 Lite respectively. The original 702 monitor boasts itself as a daylight viewable monitor, sporting a 1920X1080 display at 1000 nits in brightness. These features are where the Lite version differentiates. Both the 701 Lite and the 702 Lite feature a 1200X800 display at 450 nits of brightness. For real world reference, the Atomos Shogun is 400 nits in brightness, and the Odyssey 7Q+ has a 1200 X 800 display, so the 701 Lite and 702 Lite are on a level playing field with these more or less, subbing the cheaper cost for the lack of recording abilities. Speaking of cost, the 701 Lite and 702 Lite come in at $699 and $899 respectively, a hefty saving on the $1494 SmallHD 702. Being an owner of the 502 monitor, I can say that the software in the 500/700 series from SmallHD is fantastic. Smartphone users will instantly become accustomed to the swipe functionality on the toggle joystick. This is great for setting up a host of pages for your display; one clean, one with a LUT, one with overlays for example. Looks like you get all the exposure and focus functions in the SmallHD 701 Lite and 702 Lite. Customisable peaking, focus assist, zebras, graphs etc.. LUTs can be loaded via SD card and sent downstream. The dual battery type/slot is genius. Canon LP-E6 up top, Sony NPF down low. One feature that has been lost with the 500/700 series is the lack of power from USB. The DP4 and DP7-Pro monitor could power the likes of the IDX CW-1 transmitter (or Radian example), making wireless link setups very compact. The current 500 and 700 series monitor all provide 5v at 0.5A, short of 0.7A-1A required for such wireless accessories. I would not expect to see a change in the Lite versions here, but it would be great if it were addressed across the line at some point (if not for the next generation). SmallHD 701 Lite Specification 7″ 1200 x 800 IPS LCD Display Brightness 450 cd/m2 Backlight LED SDI in/out HDMI in/out Custom Exposure/Focus Aids LUT support inc downstream send Weight 10 oz / 283 g (no battery) SmallHD 702 Lite Specification 7″ 1200 x 800 IPS LCD Display Brightness 450 cd/m2 Backlight LED HDMI in/out Custom Exposure/Focus Aids LUT support inc downstream send Weight 10 oz / 283 g (no battery)Read more
by Tim Fok | 19th August 2014
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