The Osmo Mobile is now the latest addition to the DJI family, coming shortly after the recent release of the DJI Osmo+. Aiming to bring the functionality and ease of use of DJI’s small handheld stabiliser to your smartphone, the Osmo Mobile could prove attractive to both enthusiasts and professionals alike. DJI has been bringing steady footage solutions to the masses with multiple variations of their drone and gimbal products, and recently also the baby in their catalogue, the cute little DJI Osmo. Available in different configurations — from the humble original Osmo to the venerable Osmo Raw with the Zenmuse X5R camera — there is now yet another: the Osmo Mobile. This new offering lets you use your smartphone as a camera, bringing DJI stabilisation to the budget-conscious shooter… and perhaps a pro or two out there, as well! The Osmo Mobile accepts smartphones anywhere between 58.6 and 84.8mm long and up to 8.4mm thick. Simply attach your phone with the included clamp, balance the camera to ensure proper functionality by adjusting the locking knobs and you’re ready to go. The handle on the Osmo Mobile features a photo shutter button, a video record button and a customisable joystick to control the direction the camera faces in. Under your index finger, you will find a trigger, which allows you to momentarily lock the camera’s direction, re-center the camera, or enter selfie mode, by pressing it once, twice or three times respectively. One of the good things about the Osmo Mobile is that you can use the stabiliser’s basic functions with any camera app on your phone, such as the impressive Filmic Pro, which Richard wrote about here. However, the real potential of the Osmo Mobile is realised when connecting via Bluetooth using the DJI GO app. This opens up advanced functionality such as ActiveTrack, which lets you to select a subject on the screen of your smartphone for the Osmo to follow. The Panorama and Time-lapse options are also available through the DJI GO app, allowing you to set start and end frames, and having the app and gimbal work in conjunction to take care of the rest. Please note that some functions are only available in the iOS version of the app. At a price of between USD $299.00 – $409.00 depending on the range of accessories included, the Osmo Mobile is priced very reasonably. I am sure it will prove very attractive to smartphone shooters wanting to add a touch of cinematic quality to their work, especially when combined with Filmic Pro and third party lenses for smartphone cameras. The advanced features of the app, in conjunction to long-lasting removable batteries, make this a truly attractive solution for these kind of shooters. In addition, considering the rise of the use of smartphones for news gathering applications, this could also prove to be a very useful tool for journalists. The optional Universal Mount available for the Osmo range means reporters in the field could easily attach small audio and lighting accessories in order to make their iPhone rig a very flexible, professional and compact solution indeed. For more information, head over to the DJI Osmo Mobile product page. Would DJI’s Osmo Mobile fit in your workflow at all? Let us know in the comments below!Read more
The new Aputure Full HD Monitors bring more affordable options to an already competitive market. A quick look online for 7-inch external monitors will bring up a long list of offers of varying prices, features and resolutions, with most affordable options falling into the 800 x 480 category. Once you filter out your search to HD monitors only, you will find the list is populated mostly by products in the 4-digit price range. Enter Aputure, the Chinese manufacturer that brought us the affordable Amaran range of LED light panels as well as the innovative DEC Wireless Remote Adapter. The new Aputure Full HD Monitors – a recent upgrade to their VS line – offer HD resolution at a very competitive price. These new FineHD incarnations bring several improvements over the previous VS-1 and VS-2. In addition to the leap in resolution to HD, both models boast improved Fine IPS screens with better contrast and brightness. This is useful for challenging outdoor shooting environments. A battery level reminder, input selection and shortcut functions are other improvements at the operating system level. These Aputure Full HD Monitors start with an RRP of under $200 with the VS-1 FineHD. But in terms of features, the improved resolution is pretty much it. This, of course, may be all you need as an alternative to the LCD screen on your camera. But if you require any kind of assist functionality, then the VS-2 FineHD is worth looking at. At an RRP of $279 you get the same HD 7-inch screen, plus features such as histogram, focus peaking, zebras, false colour and audio level meters. You also get a battery to use with the included Sony NP-compatible plate. Some features lacking in these models are support for LUTs, HDMI output and SDI support. But products offering these features at this resolution cost many times more, so it is easy to forgive the “basic” functionality at this price point. Even the VS-1 FineHD doesn’t seem so basic if you can output the assist functions you may have available in your camera to the larger display of the Aputure. For shooters wanting to invest in their first field monitor who are happy to compromise some of the higher-end features, HD resolution just got a lot more affordable. Check out the monitors on their site – we will post links to B&H once the items become available for pre-order. What do you think? Will you up your game this year with an external HD monitor?Read more
You know the scene: it’s a Friday night, and you’re sitting slumped in the couch, beer in one hand, box of tissues in the other, the raindrops that drip down the windowpane but a reflection of your own tears. You turn to your desk where your documentary, your baby – your first, perhaps – lies abandoned as a timeline in a screen, an incomplete caterpillar of clips and transitions going nowhere. OK, so perhaps the scene is not so bleak. But you will for sure agree that it is not uncommon to see creative projects grind to a halt well into their production process. If your thing is documentaries, and you’re struggling with the final touches, then you might be in for some good news. The Tribeca Film Institute has opened its application process for the annual Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, an initiative to provide financial aid for the production and finishing stages of documentary film projects with a strong focus on social issues. Since its creation, the fund has supported 54 films, providing almost a million dollars in funding. The fund provides grants in the region of $10,000 to $25,000 to between 4 and 10 films each year, with an additional award providing further funding for projects focusing on youth and women around the world and their contribution to their communities. The best part? Applications to the fund are open internationally, as long as the content has English subtitles and is suitable for an American audience. So, what do you need to apply? Apart from an online application, you need to provide a 3-page treatment introducing the major characters and plot points, and include an artistic statement and total estimated budget. Also, at least 7 minutes of A-roll to illustrate the subject, tone and approach of the documentary project. There is no entry fee to the application and even projects in the earlier stages of production are eligible, provided they fulfill these criteria. Submissions are accepted until 5th February 2016. Below you can find the trailer for the 2014 fund grantee “A Flickering Truth” (read a review here), a film whose subject matter will no doubt strike a nerve with filmmakers and cinephiles. For more information, visit tribecafilminstitute.orgRead more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Here’s episode 11 of ON THE COUCH, and it’s one of my all-time favorite episodes, in which I was happy to talk to Lan and Vu Bui, the “cinematography brothers” who recently finished shooting a feature film called “20 Feet Below – The Darkness Descending”, as well as director Jan Woletz and producer / VFX man Christof Dertschei, the people behind the upcoming web series “Wienerland”, which we already reported about in detail in this recent post. That’s one lively 50 minute discussion and it shouldn’t be missed by any of our viewers. Vu and Lan Bui talking about the pitfalls of crowd funding & 4K shooting Here’s the gist of the content: • Is 4K a waste of time and money or not? Some very diverging opinions and experiences about shooting on 4K are discussed – Jan and Christof highlight how shooting in 4K on the 1DC with director of photography (and cinema5D partner) Johnnie Behiri saved their butts because they ran out of time but were able to crop into the wide shots to still get those “close ups” that were needed. Lan and Vu argue how much effort needs to be added to post production when dealing with 4K, despite the fact that virtually no clients demands 4K finishing in this day and age. • Crowd funding for indie productions The greatest part of the discussion is about how to fund films via crowd funding. Vu and Lan Bui have a lot of experience with crowd funding because of the feature film “20 Feet Below” and other projects, while Jan Woletz and Christof Dertschei are on the brink of starting their Kickstarter campaign for Wienerland. They talk about how important it is to build an audience before you actually start the campaign, about budgeting for production as well as the perks that are given out – which eat up a big part of the crowd funding revenue if done right. Also, we talked about how important it is to be fair to your audience and team members when asking the public for money, because very often filmmakers only think about the cost of the gear that needs to be used, while they “forget” to actually pay their cast & crew. Lan and Vu talk about the importance of having a “bigger name” no their cast list – like in their case Danny Trejo. Jan Woletz said to that casting choice, “Danny Trejo’s face is the best reason to shoot in 4K,” and I have to say he might be right :) This is an incredibly engaging discussion and I recommend it to anyone who is interesting in finance any kinds of projects via crowd funding, there is so much to learn from all these guys! Jan Woletz & Christof Dertschei, the director & producer behind “Wienerland” Huge thanks especially to Katharina Dietl for her work on that show, we had serious audio problems and she worked tirelessly on fixing these to get this show finally out (and she also did the live edit and camera, assisted by Chloe Mae). For all ON THE COUCH episodes so far, click here:Read more
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