Zacuto just has introduced a new baseplate, called the VCT Pro, which replaces their existing universal baseplate. They’ve managed to reduce the weight even more and have added some interesting features also. Zacuto VCT Pro Baseplate Let’s start with a quote here. With the introduction of their universal VCT basplate a few years ago, Steve Weiss claimed: This will be the last baseplate you’ll ever need. Well, here we are at IBC 2016 with a new baseplate, probably the last one you’ll ever need! There are some nice upgrades, though, so let’s have a close look. new Zacuto VCT Pro baseplate with the top plate in red Features of the VCT Pro Zacuto have managed to reduce the weight of this baseplate by getting rid of every ounce possible. The soft gel pad is still in place, it just has been moved a little bit to one side in order to achieve perfect balance of the whole rig. The real improvement is the now detachable top plate which can be slid back and forth for about 12″. The idea is to get one of these top plates for every camera you’ll be using on a given shoot. With these attached you can be really at lightning speed when it come to switch camera from tripod to shoulder operation. The one feature that made the original universal VCT baseplate special, namely the expanded space on the rods for mounting things like follow focuses and other things is still in place, as well. And they’ve added the ability of fastening and unfastening both, the rods in the front and the ones in the back with just one thumb screw respectively. No more screw-in rods in the back, which is a nice upgrade, I think. the gel pad of the VCT Pro So in the end this is really an evolution rather a revolution but it’s nice to see that Zacuto is improving and polishing existing products until they are perfect for what they were made for. What do you think? Is this something worth upgrading to? The price is set to $650.Read more
The Libec HFMP, short for Hands Free Monopod, was presented at IBC 2016, featuring a locking footswitch to control the freedom of movement and make this innovative video monopod stand on its own. The Libec HFMP Hands Free Monopod has a clip-in and sliding plate, with a video head that can take a payload of up to 4kg. It has a fluid head for smooth panning movements and can extend quite high too. The killer feature of the monopod is the locking switch that allows free swivel movement, but which can also be locked to make the tripod “hands free”. Libec had only a pre-production model on the show floor, so there aren’t many details about the Libec HFMP video monopod yet, but we know it will be released and available to purchase at the time of NAB 2017. We’ll keep you posted with any updates as they come.Read more
Note: It has come to our attention that the product reported about at the end of this article is a 1:1 copy of a product invented by the Swedish company Flowcine. The Flowcine Serene is a two axis spring arm that attaches at the end of the popular Easyrig, also a product copied by the Chinese manufacturer mentioned in this article. Original Flowcine Spring Arm The products by the copycat manufacturer mentioned in this article have not been tested and are in violation with patent laws. They might also be dangerous and come with no support, so we strongly recommend to only get the originals. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to other people who were not aware of the copycat nature of the device. Please be careful when you shop for this product online as there are other copycat resellers who advertise the product as an original. For more information on the original product go to flowcine.com The Ultra Core support system for 3-axis gimbal stabilizers takes a massive $900 price cut! Gimbals and stabilizers are becoming commonplace in many filmmakers and videographers kit bags. The results of smooth, flowing motion are pleasing to the eye, but operating a heavy camera-stabilizer setup for long periods of time is hefty work, straining both arm and back muscles. The Ultra Core support system from GiniRigs alleviates the strain on arms, shoulders and back. It has taken a big price cut down from $1499.00 to $579.00! Its recommended maximum load capacity is up to 10kg, enough for a MoVI M10 and production camera. The support system itself is a backpack style support that uses an over-hanging, spring loaded cable to transfer the weight of the camera kit from the arms, shoulders and back, to your core. Distributing the load much more evenly across the body. This allows you to operate the camera and stabilizer with comfort and for a longer period of time. You can also get a FREE Ultra Core Spring Arm ($799.00) when you purchase the whole kit too, which aids in stabilizing the Y-axis. This bundle package would usually come in at over $2000.00, so it’s a good deal, especially if you were left aching from your last video shoot! I’ve never used any of GiniRig’s products before let alone this Ultra Core support. Have you? What are your thoughts on it?Read more
Vocas has announced their new Spider System; a versatile camera support system which is modular and adaptable depending on your filming needs. Vocas has focused on a number of features in the Spider System to make it as flexible as possible for filming. The center piece of the system is a new camera base plate which sits in line with the shoulder support and extendable hand grip. It can connect up to four extendable arms for stable points of contact using the new rubbarized hand grip and shoulder brace, keeping the camera steady. The base plate accessories also include a ‘Spider tube’ which is an additional base side for attaching a second extendable arm, and a tube for potentially mounting EVF’s or monitors. The system is also tool-less, meaning it is flexible to change the arm positions or setup in the field, this has the advantage over rigs or supports that need keys or screwdrivers to adjust the setup. Including extendable arms is a thumbs up for multiple camera users, while running and gunning or using the cameras eyepiece. The arm itself can rotate 360 degrees and includes a standard Rosette mount for adding other accessories or camera controls such. The benefits of the Vocas Spider System Modular system which can be setup exactly as you wish Easy to combine without using any tools Complete system for lightweight and small cameras A complete easy adjustable system Connection to all accessories using standard rosette Strong, stable, light-weight and playless! Space saving system Up to four points of support! The Vocas Spider System basic kit includes 2 extendable arms, a universal camera base, a rubberised handgrip and the shoulder brace coming in at € 795.00 euros. The other accessories are available separately. You can read more about the Spider System here.Read more
Atlas Camera Support is designed to relieve the weight of your camera setup. I tested it out alongside my DJI Ronin to see how well it performs with a heavy gimbal stabilizer. Anyone who owns a DJI Ronin will tell you just how heavy it can be, I use mine alongside my Canon C100 and despite it being a relatively light camera, you won’t last long with it hanging off the beastie Ronin. The Ronin itself is heavy; at 4.2kg it’s nearly 3 times the weight of a Movi M10. I was therefore very intrigued when I stumbled across the Atlas Camera Support. A system that relieves the weight of a camera setup via flexible rods and vest. The Atlas Camera Support is available in both single and dual rod setups, the latter spreads weight evenly over both shoulders and across your back, it no doubt prolongs your ability to shoot long takes, but comes at a cost. I was sent both systems to try out, the camera support is designed to work with any camera setup in whatever rig you choose but I wanted to test it specifically with my Ronin to see how it well it works with a gimbal stabilizer. I immediately found that a 2-rod setup on a gimbal stabilizer is very limiting. The beauty of a gimbal stabilizer is the freedom move with the camera in any way you want. If your shot is a simple linear track, you’ll benefit from the added support and balance the 2 rod system provides, but as soon as you want variety in height and direction of your gimbal it will limit your movement. You have very little twist function with a 2 rod system. For these reasons, I did no further testing with a 2-rod system, solely using the Atlas Camera Support single rod setup. Single Rod Setup The weight of your setup will determine what package you choose. Atlas provides quite a few options, three stages (lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight) with three further weight options per stage. Use a few cameras and not sure which one to pick? Not to worry, Atlas offer combo setups also, simply pick you payload range and you’ll get sent out a few different strength rods. I was sent over quite a few to try out, but ended up using one rod almost exclusively, which to my knowledge was the standard Middleweight rod. I did hand the Atlas kit over to a regular F55 shooter to take a look at from a heavyweight point of view, and they did express a concern for the relatively little amount of metal you’re left with to take the weight of the camera setup. I agree it does look thin here, (all medium to heavweight rods were the same in this regard) but I haven’t experienced any problems with it. Weight Relief The Atlas does a fantastic job in relieving weight from your setup. Whilst it’s not recommended to do so I did experiment for review purposes, and yes you can let go of your stabilizer completely and the Atlas will take all of the weight. It’s actually quite tempting to just let the Atlas do all the work, but what you’ll find is that your footage will bounce, it’s important to hold the Ronin and support a small percentage of the weight whilst operating; it will affect your footage if you simply let it take the brunt. At a guess, I’d say I could operate the Ronin and C100 setup for around 2 minutes before fatigue sets in, with the Atlas this figure is blown away. I can run over half an hour without experiencing major discomfort. I did consider a quick side by side video comparing timings holding the Ronin with and without the Atlas, but it would’ve consisted of me standing in front of camera for an awkwardly long, boring amount of time proving the point. Take my word; it’ll add tens of minutes to your takes. You’ll eventually feel discomfort in your back, as the vest alleviates the weight from your arms and over your shoulders. You’ll find fatigue much more progressive here though, rather than the simple ‘give way’ feeling you get when your arms have had enough. Functionality The vest is universal fitting for all Atlas systems, regardless of rod numbers or strength (this makes it easy to change your rod strengths with future camera purchases). It has two slots on the rear, for single rod setups simply pick your favourite shoulder to arc from. You attach a Velcro ring pull to both the rod and gimbal, and a snap hook simply links the two together. At first, the support isn’t the easiest bit of kit to setup on your own. Reaching up & back to a rod hanging somewhere over your head can feel like the predicament you sometimes get in when trying to put on a jacket with an inside out sleeve. You’ll get used to it however, there is a knack to it. Any regular users of the Ronin or like stabilizers I’m sure will have migrated to chest height setup when placing the device back on a stand. This will really help you with hooking up your Atlas Camera Support and save a lot of time and man power. Since being sent the support for review, Atlas has released a great looking quick release system for mounting the rod to your camera Flexibility So a dual rod setup is too restrictive, but how does a single rod setup perform with the Ronin? Well, you do lose some freedom, the fact that you’re connected to the gimbal via an over hanging rod makes it more difficult to do more dramatic height shifts during takes, it also disables the ability to pass the Ronin onto another operator. Twist is limited, and you have to be careful in height changes to ensure the Atlas doesn’t take the weight over completely and affect your footage. However the weight relief is a huge advantage, the ability to run long (shoulder rig long) takes means you can shoot with your Ronin unlike before. I connected the single rod Atlas to the top handle of my Ronin, and this still gives me a fair amount of twist action and I was also able to get moderate height shifts. It’s a case of finding the right balance with use of the support, there’s shots that simply won’t be possible with it attached. You’ll probably find yourself re thinking shots of how it can be used however; it does that much for you. Pricepoint/Competitors Simply put, the Atlas Camera Support vastly exceeds its competitors in terms of pricepoint. Here’s a comparison of two systems both ranging in the 10-14lbs category (4-6kg): Atlas Middleweight Combo Package $364 Easyrig Mini Strong $1322 It’s fair to say that the Easyrig is a more substantial product. It has side struts that provide a more stable support that is no doubt much better for your back (the Atlas can dig into you over time). Whether the Easyrig justifies a price tag over 3 times more than the Atlas however remains to the seen. For the Scan Readers For Gimbal stabilizer use, a single rod Atlas must be considered, as dual rod setups are too limiting. Pros: Cheap Portable Relieves weight indefinitely Cons: Bulks up your camera setup Limits function of gimbal stabilizer Conclusion Buying a DJI Ronin created a new problem for me, the ability to sustain long stabilized shots, the Atlas Camera Support offers a solution, it single handily solves all the grief my poor twiggy arms have been cursing me for as of late. Whilst it’s not suitable for all gimbal shots, and its appearance certainly raises an eyebrow or two when in the field, I simply won’t go on a Ronin shoot without this bit of kit anymore. A lot of people will have bought the Ronin to save costs on a MoVi setup, and a lot of those operators will know the pain I talk of when discussing its weight. Atlas offer a very good solution to this and it won’t break the bank. Review Photography by James HaddockRead more
In film every minute lost costs money and nerves. That’s why professionals tend to use high quality equipment. This support system is not very affordable for the normal user, but for its quality and functionality it’s a very good deal for professional video and when you’re dealing with frontheavy cameras. The build quality and versatility of this support system is outstanding. Screws, materials, sliding, everything is smoooth. The 16×9 Inc Cine Base M15 is currently available for the Sony FS100, Sony F3 and Panasonic AF100. You can upgrade the support system to go with each model by buying the additionally available baseplates. The kit for each camera is currently $1045: Check out the 16×9 Inc. PL mount which we reported about at NAB 2011. For more information visit the 16×9 Inc. website. B&H has provided these exclusive phone numbers for you if you have questions or require assistance: US: +1 877 502 5839 and INTERNATIONAL: +1 212 465 0114Read more
This is the last of about 30 video clips I made during the 4 days of NAB 2011. I hope you enjoyed the coverage that became a last minute one man crew job for me. Breakfast was at 6pm and the whole thing was a big lesson. We’ll come back, better prepared and ready to give you the finest possible coverage next year. The image on the left shows me with my favourite piece of equipment during the whole show. Johan, the inventor of the Easyrig saw me as I walked around on the floor all day and lend the Turtle X to me with a smile. I could use this tool for the remaining 3 days and I must say it became my very best friend. Not only did it relieve my back like 10 to 1, it also made it possible to hold the mic with one hand while holding the rest of the rig, zooming and focusing with the other hand. I worked about 80% of the interviews like that, as it eventually became my prefered method to use my free hand as a boom so to say. This is the Easyrig homepage: www.easyrig.com If you’re interested you can buy the Easyrig Turtle-X for 4kg here. If you’re intruiged by the idea of the Easyrig you should watch the clip by Brad White at the end of this post. The last shot of this video shows about half of the hall where all the DSLR and video equipment was presented. As you can see it’s a huge floor and there are several more halls that were packed with 90,000 people. The crane shot was made with the fully remote controllable Barber Boom. It was pretty cool to handle this “boom” (isn’t it a crane?), the problem was I didn’t have a video cable for dslr with me, so I couldn’t see the video feed. Usually you have a monitor and a joystick to control your camera and the remote head at the back of the boom/crane. [UPDATE]: Michelle Barber confirmed that it was initially called “boom”: (…) a long Arm with a remote control Camera head on the End of it is a Remote Control Camera Boom. I know this because I invented it (in 1973) and won an Emmy Award for it! I saw this thing on B&H, but if you want to get it you will have to make sure you get all the accessories as well, the head, dolly, weights… In total the 22 inch (5,5 meters) version is a little under $10,000 and in Europe it’s only available through a company in Belgium and another in Switzerland. This is the Barber Tech website: www.barbertvp.com On the first day at NAB I spent about half my time looking for a company that would lend me some headphones as I had left mine on the plane (not a good idea). The one company that had a spare pair of headphones and also lend them to me was Audio Technica. I had the Audio Technica ATH-M50 and as the 141 5 Star user reviews out of 141 user reviews on the B&H Site suggest, this is a great pair of headphones at $160 dollars. In Europe they’re 170€ Get them here. They were very comfortable to wear and the sound was very good to me, being an old audiophile myself. The Audio Technica website is: www.audio-technica.com Goodbye NAB 2011 from cinema5D Sebastian Wöber Another video of the Easyrig:Read more
We only send updates about our most relevant articles. No spam, guaranteed! And if you don't like our newsletter, you can unsubscribe with a single click. Read our full opt-out policy here.