The festive season is upon us, what better way to celebrate it then cramming a B&H shopping cart filled with gear?! I’ll be doing a trio of articles over the next few days each containing 10 great products that you should have at your disposal, starting with camera kit stocking fillers. All items are sub $100, perfect for stocking fillers if you have any baby filmmakers in the household (or simply want to hand this list over to your better half). We’ll cover the tool box and kit bags in the following two articles, but first lets get started with camera kit! #1 Wide Open Lens Gear – $21 Wide Open Cameras don’t make many products but the niche ones they do tend to be pretty useful. Here are some very affordable and universal lens gears. With a 0.8 pitch they will fit my follow focus systems. What I like about these is the very slim form factor, you can quite happily leave them mounted to the lens when switching to handheld operation. #2 Convergent Design Ultra Slim BNC SDI Cable $24 I never go on a shoot without a hefty supply of spare cables. Add to that spare bulbs, tape, ties etc and your ‘just in case’ bag gets pretty large. These cables are fantastic in keeping your kit small; they’re almost none existent in size. That’s not all, these are the perfect cable for gimbal work as their ultra slim nature adds very little in persuasion to the balance of your rig. Thick cables are a pain, they are easy to knock and can add weight to your camera rig. Keeping them slim and light will streamline your setup. #3 Zacuto Zicro Mount $28.50 These mounts work alongside 15mm rod systems (more on that further down) they bypass the need to constantly use the stock thread making the mounting/dismounting of accessories much quicker and safer. Tired of spinning your valuable monitor around and around to get it on/off your camera? Stick one of these in the middle (plus a ZUD below) and you’re good to go. There’s also the larger Zicro Mount with placeholders for larger accessories to limit spinning. I use these on all my monitors and sound kit, I have a 15mm stud on the end of my boom pole permanently so I can quickly adjust my mic shock mount via the Zicro lever. #4 Zacuto ZUD, 15mm stud $46.55 So I’m breaking the costing tier with this one but as it’s relevant to number 3 so I’ll list this next. The Zacuto ZUD is simply a short 15mm stud with female thread receiver. You put this on the mounting side to match up with the Zicro Mount. For example the ZUD would sit on the top of your ball head, and the Zicro mount on you monitor. The ZUD also comes in 3/8″ thread form, what’s great about the ZUD over cheaper 15mm studs is the option of a removable male thread. You also have a tension allen on the side to help lock the ZUD in place; I’ve got many a cheaper 15mm stud stuck on accessories in the past that don’t have this feature. #5 Tera Grand Super Slim HDMI Cable $29.50 It’s no secret, I love my super slim cables. Like the above BNC, this HDMI cable is perfect for gimbal work and keeping your camera setup hassle free. I have a plethora of slim HDMI cables in my kit, ranging from Type A to B to C. This particular one is type A to type, good for full size applications like the Sony FS7 and Canon EOS Cinema Line. It comes with an adaptor for micro enabling compatibility with the Sony Alpha cameras too, however for long term use of the latter camera format I’d suggest a native micro cable; a cable adaptor is one more thing to go wrong! #6 Cinevate Universal Accessory Mount $30 This has to be my favourite accessory mount to use. More versatile than a ballhead and less faff than a articulating arm. With a 1/4″ thread on either end it’s highly compatible, mine often lives with a ZUD on one side. It’s very strong which means it gets the nod over longer arms for me, plus with the addition of a few other accessories from Cinevate it can be used for a variety of applications. #7 Manfrotto Nano Clamp $38.95 Ah the Manfrotto Nano Clamp, second probably only to the Super Clamp (it’s bigger brother) as one of the most versatile bits of kit on set. This thing will get you out of trouble in a lot of situations (pictured left with a ZUD). Many a time I’ve brought my monitoring accessories to a shoot to use with a hire camera, only to find there’s not a thread mounting option in sight. Enter the Nano Clamp, it’ll mount to anything with a diameter up to 35mm. You’ll find me using this to attach accessories to various different broadcast cameras (with top handles) and tripod pan handles. It has both a 1/4″ and 3/8″ thread on the top for versatility, the one I’ve linked comes with a male adaptor thread also to get your started. #8 Manfrotto 492 Micro Ball Head $59.88 I’ve used a tonne of micro ball heads in my time and this one is definitely the best I’ve come across. Micro ball heads usually follow with a retainer of being unstable and taking a small amount of weight; this one is a tank in comparison. All other micro ball heads I’ve owned have deteriorated over time, I have a handful of these, the first of which purchased nearly 5 years ago and they’re still going strong. The 492LCD version comes with a hot shoe mount attached. You can convert this back to a 3/8″ later down the line, but the 1/4″ to 3/8″ thread adaptor often becomes stuck inside proving hard to remove. #9 Wooden Camera Nato Lock Kit $79 This kit works in the same principle to the Zacuto ZUD and Zicro mount, it sits between accessories and their mount to make them much quicker and safer to attach/remove. This may appeal more to some (over the 15mm stud) as the nato rail is scalable in length; you have the ability to have a much wider base for a variety of setups. You could place a Nato rail the length of the bottom of your monitor or the top of your camera giving you variable mounting points for your accessory. It’s less universal than a 15mm rod however, I’m surprised on a regular basis on what a 15mm stud/rod is compatible with. Good example of this would be my Cinevate Hedron Slider, there’s a 15mm hole on one end that when couple with a light stand with ZUD on top it made the perfect additional support that is quick to adjust. You’ll seldom get these surprises with the Nato lock kit; it has wide universal support but less stuff ‘just so happens to have’ Nato support. Pick which system will likely work better for you. #10 Redrock Rhino Mount $99 The Redrock Rhino Mount is perfect for adding 15mm rail support whilst keeping your camera setup small. For small and compact setups, accessories that require rail support like a follow focus system can be off putting as much by the presence of a baseplate than by the accessory itself. The Rhino Mount comes in a range of lengths and utilizes the hot shoe on the top of your camera, keeping a setup with rail support as small as it can physically be. This is a great tool for use with gimbals (if you don’t need the hot shoe for a top cage) when you want to keep the setup small a light. Other setups like helmet cams, lightweight jibs etc will benefit too where you need rail support for your accessories but don’t want the added size & weight of a big baseplate. That’s my top 10 stocking fillers for camera kit, next up will be my favourite products for your tool box and kit bag. As it’s the first article here’s a bonus number(s). Every operator should have an odds and sods bag filled with those get out of jail free items when you’re down to the wire and you can’t get A attached to B. Never mind the chocolate money or the candy canes in that stocking, good old nuts and bolts are much more fun! I have a pouch filled with threads, screws bolts and spigots just in case, I respect any other operator far more who has carries the same. Here’s a list of odds and sods to get you started: Male 1/4″ to 1/4″ Male 3/8″ to 3/8″ Male 1/4″ to 3/8″ Female 1/4″ to Male 3/8″ Female 3/8″ to Male 1/4″ 1/4″ to 3/8″ Thread adaptor Double End Spigot with 1/4″ and 3/8″ ThreadRead more
It’s Black Friday today and many websites kick off the holiday season with some unique offers and large discounts. Here are some of the best Black Friday Deals we found for video shooters on the look for new equipment. Actually it seems people sometimes get really crazy about these sales. The image above is a good reminder… So make sure you only get what you really need. We hope the list is helpful and you find some of the things you were looking for. Most of the items are from our partner B&H, some of them are from manufacturers directly. From all the offers we received in the last days we filtered out the ones that might be useful to our readers. Lenses Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 for EF & Sony E – $329 $249 SLR Magic Cine 12mm for MFT – $569 $399 Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F/0.95 for MFT – $799 $699 Sony 35mm F/1.8 OSS – $448 $398 Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 – $399 $329 Rokinon 50mm T/1.5 – $549 $399 Sigma 50mm F/1.4 Art Lens – $949 $849 Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L – $1,449 $1,349 Sony E 50mm F/1.8 OSS – $298 $248 Canon EF 85mm F/1.8 – $419 $349 Canon EF 100mm F/2.8L Macro IS – $899 $799 Sigma 105mm F/2.8 Macro OS – $969 $569 Tokina 11-16 F/2.8 – $479 $399 Canon EF 16-35mm F/4L IS – $1,099 $1,049 Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS – $999 $899 Canon EF 70-200 F/4L IS – $1,199 $1,149 Cameras Panasonic GH4 – $1,498 $1,298 Panasonic GH3 – $798 $698 Panasonic G7 – $798 $598 DJI Phantom 3 Pro with 4K Camera – $1,229 $1,129 Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera – $548 $398 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body – $2,799 $2,499 (or with kit lens) Canon EOS 6D Body – $1,699 $1,399 (or with kit lens) Nikon D810 with kit lens – $4,397 $3,297 Accessories Tilta Sony a7S Cage & Rig – $399 $349 SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB SD Card – $52 – $43 SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card – $93 $80 2x Lexar Pro 64GB 1066x CF Card – $173 $160 DJI Ronin 3-Axis Stabilizer – $2,499 $1,999 Steadicam Solo Stabilizer – $499 $279 Syrp 82mm Vari ND Filter Kit – $189 $149 Syrp Magic Carpet Slider – $299 $239 Manfrotto Digital Director – $499 399 Came-Tv Video Sucker (Car Mount) – $248 $148 Shootools Slider & Dolly Accessories – 30% off X-Rite ColorChecker Passport – 50% off Computers Apple Retina MacBook Pro 13.3″ – $1,299 $1,149 (or with 256GB SSD) Apple Retina MacBook Pro 15.4″ – $1,999 $1,799 Apple iMac 5K with Retina Display – $1,799 $1,629 Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD – $108 – $78 Other FilmConvert Color Grading Plugins – 30% off Learn Color Grading Tutorials – 80% off Convergent Design Apollo Option – $1795 $1595 Convergent Design Odyssey RAW bundle – $995 $795 We hope the list we gathered helps. If you find any other good deals relevant for video shooters please share those in the comments for the other readers. All the best from cinema5D and a good weekend to you!Read more
It’s that time of the year again – Thanksgiving, many people taking a break and getting ready for the holiday shopping craze that starts hours later, on Black Friday. As it happens, everybody and their mum is trying to sell you something especially during that time of the year when they want you to believe that there are great savings to be made. Truth is, these savings aren’t all that great in many cases, so it simply takes time to assess a deal for what it’s really worth. We here at cinema5D tried to do just that and here’s a condensed list of currently rebated filmmaking gear and software that we love from various sources – remember, for a very limited time only! B&H Some great deals on already inexpensive entry-level cameras are to be had – here are our highlights: Panasonic GH4 4K Mirrorless Digital Camera $1,497.99 Save $200 Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera with 18-140mm Lens $996.95 Save $300 Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera $448 Save $200 Sony Alpha a7R Mirrorless Digital Camera $2,098 Save $200 Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm $298 Save $200 Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-135mm $849 Save $200 Sennheiser MKE 400 On-Camera Mic $99 Save $100 GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition $249.99 Save $50 DJI Ronin Stabilizer with Additional Battery $2,699 Save $200 Data Color Spyder4PRO Screen Calibrator $129 Save $40 Extreme Pro 128GB Compact Flash $299.95 Save $43 Sennheiser ew 11-p G3 Wireless Mic Kit $629.95 Save $100 Syrp Genie Motion Control Timelapse Device $699 Save $200 Zacuto Marauder Camera Rig $599 Save $136.25 Beachtek DXA-SLR Ultra XLR Adaptor $299 Save $170 plus $84 worth of free accessories Tascam DR-100mkII Recorder & Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun $349.99 Save $230 Zoom H6 Recorder Kit & Sennheiser MKH-416 Shotgun $1029 Save $370 The MusicBed The Music Bed, the best resource for royalty free music of the highest quality, has a 10% rebate on all purchases until Monday. Code: Thanks10 Kessler Kessler has an extended sale that gives you 10% off any purchase above $1000. Filmconvert They offer a powerful color grading plugin that transforms digital colors to accurately match the look of analogue film. Filmconvert supports the latest large sensor cameras and just today they announced support of the GoPro Family. Any other interesting Black Friday deals you came across? Let us know in the comments and we might share them!Read more
I’ve been using my MōVI M10 for a few months now and I am still learning – as with any tool, you get better and better over time. In a series of posts about the gimbal-stablizer, I want to share my journey and learned lessons with you, our great audience. The last MōVI post focused on a test shoot that we did on a cobblestone street, driving up to 65mph, and see how well the rig handled the vibrations (click here). This time I will write about my experiences on my last MōVI shoot: Screenagers, an über-creative Vienna-based digital agency, hired me to shoot a very special “Jingle Bells” video with them after they heard that I had a MōVI M10.Read more
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