In conclusion of our top 10 must-have gear posts we look at Kit Bag Stocking Fillers. Christmas is literally days away but there’s still time to cram in a few extra presents in those stockings! Check out our favourite list of sub $100 for your kit bag. #1 AA Battery Pack Holder $4.95 AA batteries are still pretty popular in gear, particularly sound kit and compact lighting. Their universal nature means there’s rarely a shoot location where AAs aren’t available to purchase close by. Battery holders like this not only help keep your bag organised, but it can help catalogue AAs in accordance to how much charge level they have. These are handy because they come in different colours and sizes. The different colours means you can buy a variety that can signify the charge levels left in a particular set. Fresh ones goes in a green holder, barely used in an yellow and so on.. #2 Think Tank Red Whips $7.95 If there were a candidate for my favourite piece of kit from all three articles, these may be it. Think Tank Red Whips have become an integral part of my kit bag. Billed mainly as cable organisers to which they do a fantastic job, but highly useful in a number of scenarios. A simply bungee chord and toggle tensioner ensure you can quickly coil and secure your cables, being bright red they are hard to lose also. This is a pack of 10 but go nuts, once you start dividing them up among your kit you’ll want more and more. #3 Tenba Messenger Wrap $13.95 Ever have that odd shaped bit of kit that you really struggle to fit properly in any of your bags? Or maybe you travel a lot and try to squeeze precious bits of kit into your personal clothes bag without padded dividers. The Tenba Messenger Wraps solve your un-protected gear woes. Quite simply their big padded clothes with velcro on each corner, wrap your gear up and you’re good to go, genius. They come in 3 sizes – 10″,16″ and 22″ and a selection of colours accommodating small items like a mic shock mount up to a Macbook Pro. #4 Cocoon Grid It This clever organiser comes in varying shapes and sizes. It’s an elastic grid which neatly presents your accessories. You can arrange each Grid It in a number of different ways according to your preference. I have one for my card readers and another for laptop accessories. #5 Pixel Pocket Rocket $16.75 No better way to keep cards organised on the go than the Pixel Pocket Rockets by Think Tank. They cater for a combination of SD, Micro SD, Compact Flash and CFast cards, simply pick the one that suits you best. They have a belt clip to ensure the wallet stays with you at all times and a clear window for each card so that you can quickly identity them. I use a simple and popular technique of having cards facing out for clean, and reversed for ones with full data on. #6 Cable Roll Up The cable roll up is a great way to organise your cables, whether they’re HDMIs and BNCs for you camera kit or USB3s and Thunderbolt adaptors for your laptop. It’s useful for pens and other small accessories like lens cleaners too. #7 Think Tank Battery Holder $17.75 These have been around for a while, I’ve used them since shooting video on the 5D back in the day. Originally listed for Canon DSLR LP-E6s, but I’ve found they loosely fit Sony Alpha batteries too. These are a great way to store your batteries, airport security will be happy each terminal is isolated from another and you can easily install a forwards/backwards facing procedure for full and empties. #8 Think Tank Cable Management 10 Think Tank clearly invest a lot of time into making useful kit bag accessories, here’s another one of their products. The Cable Management bags are very useful, clear front for easily recognizing accessories inside and a nice little pouch on the back for a business card. I keep my lav mic kit in the Cable Management 10 and use the business card holder for storing spare batteries. #9 Tenba Toolbox 4 Another accessories bag worth checking out is the Tenba Toolbox 4. Slightly more substantial than the Cable Management bags with a more rigged side and padded inserts. It also has a clear lid and has a set of elastic loops on one side for securing bits and bobs. #10 Tenba BYOB 7 Camera Insert #29.95 Our final item is the Tenba BYOB camera insert. This is the perfect accessory for keeping your kit organised in a bag without dividers. Whether you’re travelling and want to keep it all in a personal traveller or just like your more fashionable bags! Another great use is when paired with the Packlite Shoulder bags, these are fantastic for travel and getting over the headache of paying for an extra bag as carry on. Check out our article here for more on that. The BYOB range come in a variety of sizes, each present a healthy selection of divider sections, clear zip pockets, business card holders and loops for lanyard accessories. That’s it for our Top 10 lists for Camera, Tools and Kit bags.If you haven’t already check out Part 1 on Camera Kit and Part 2 on Tools. I hope you’ve enjoyed them and have a great festive period!Read more
Let’s be honest, a bag review is slightly less exciting than a camera one. But bags and cases are a very important part of a filmmaker’s arsenal; they’re often overlooked and can have a dramatic effect on how much kit you travel with and how long it takes you to setup. The latter point is key here; the Portabrace Rig Movi bag I’ve been trying out is part of a range from Portabrace that allow you to travel with a fully rigged up setup. The difference with a conventional bag is a larger footprint but arriving on set with a rig that is setup and ready to go. Usually I’m not a huge fan of this kind of bag; as a solo shooter much of the time I rely on compact kit & few bags that I can move around on my own. My camera setups are also quick to build and break, so a bag that houses a fully rigged camera is usually one that’s wasted on me. Purchasing the Movi M5 was movement in a different direction, like any gimbal it requires a setup time and demands more space than your average tripod based setup. In order for the Movi to work in my current style of shooting I needed to adapt it so that it was quick and easy to move from location to location. The Portabrace Rig Movi bag has been a fantastic solution; it allows me to carry my Movi fully rigged and ready to go, drastically reducing my setup time. Before sharing more thoughts let’s take a step back and take a look at the bag in closer detail. The Portabrace Rig Movi bag is essentially a big square box, it measures 15 x 15 x 16″ (38.1 x 38.1 x 40.6 cm) has a front flap with two internal pockets (with clear windows) and pockets around two of the external sides; there’s no additional material dedicated to the exterior pockets so it’ll only fit paper documents or the supplied white balance card. Inside in addition to the flap you also have two Velcro-removable pockets that stretch the length of two sides. The bag ships with a typical Portabrace heavy-duty suede strap and also two CS-B9 Stuff Sacks and a 4” & 7” lens Cup. The accessories and pockets work out nicely for your usual M5 setup; the 4” lens cup fits 6 batteries side by side no problem whilst the 7” fits the battery charger, tablet charger and cables & additional Toad In The Hole mounted to a Ninja Star. The Stuff Sacks take care of my tablet and monitor respectively, whilst the flap pockets fit additional cables and the top handle nicely; I reserve the long removable pockets for additional cross bar mounts & tools. Additionally I’ve added a Velcro strap in one of the corners that holds my Movi Dock arm vertically, I use this to balance and store my Movi on set and the stand stays in the bag. One thing I’ve noticed is the bag seems a inch too short, the M5 stand pokes out ever so slightly from the top; this doesn’t effect the closing or shape of the bag, but is an interesting quirk considering it’s a bespoke bag. I was going to do a comparison video comparing the speed of setting up the M5 from the original hard pelicase and the Portabrace Rig Movi but there’s little point; the latter is that much quicker. All I have to do is fit the mount handle and re-align my C100 handgrip setup and monitor mount (you twist the latter two back on themselves so they don’t protrude from the lid). The original Pelicase is great but it involves packing the Movi right down to its independent components, which is time consuming to set up. If you’re wondering, yes the Portabrace bag fits the Movi with a camera fully mounted. I’ve done this a few times when moving quickly from location to location, it didn’t greatly benefit me; the turmoil of getting it in there past the Movi stand means you have to re-balance the fore/aft axis which is usually the only axis that needs adjusting upon removing/re-mounting the same setup. Using a smaller setup like a Sony A7s would probably work better here (I use a C100) as it’s smaller footprint would be easier to get in and out of the case therefore less likely to require much re-balancing. There’s no doubt the Portabrace Rig Movi is bulky, it’s too tall for most estate car boots so it’ll always be on show in a standard sized vehicle, it doesn’t have wheels either so it can be tricky to carry around. However even with the Movi inside it’s very light, so not as difficult as one may originally think. I’ve travelled a lot with this bag so far, boats, ferries, trains flights the lot. It’s held up great as hold luggage. The sides are rigged enough to have protected my kit perfectly where other bags on the same journey haven’t been as successful. With the Movi packed down completely flat, this bag can take a lot of kit. For flying I was able to pack my M5, Astra 1X1, IDX battery supply, long power & audio cables, K clamps, arms grips spare clothes; having such a large and rigid bag for flying is great for awkwardly shaped and delicate gear. Portabrace Rig Movi Bag Pros • Carries M5 fully rigged even with camera • Dramatically reduces setup time • Well built ‘soft bag’ Cons • Relatively expensive • No removable wheels • Large form factor I’ve learnt to deal with the larger form factor, a fully rigged Movi kit arriving on set saves me that much time that it’s absolutely worth the extra bit of hassle it take for lugging it around. I was originally going to finish by stating that it would be a good option to have wheels and a pull handle, well it seems since receiving this bag to test out Portabrace has released the PortaBrace RIG-MOVIOR Camera Case with Wheels also, so check this out if you prefer a slightly heavier pull along version.Read more
The Vitec Group made some adjustments recently and decided to end the “Petrol Bags” brand of their popular camera bags. However, they were rebranded to the famous Sachtler brand, most widely known for tripods and the Artemis stabilizer line. Our friend Dan Chung from newsshooter.com spoke to Tobias Keuthen from Sachtler at BVE 2015 about the change and their full new product line (which can also be seen on their website). I personally am a big fan of Petrol Bags and my DSLR trolley has been my main camera bag for many years since I bought the C300 – and it still is faultless. Assuming that Sachtler will maintain the high quality of the Petrol Bags, I am emotionless about the brand name change, however Sachtler certainly rings a bell with more people who know our industry.Read more
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