Have you ever wondered: what does a Grip do? In truly timeless 90’s Docu fashion, Mark Vargo, ASC takes us on a journey explaining the role of the grip department, with insight to popular camera and light modifying tools they use day to day. With filmmaking becoming as accessible and self-sufficient due to today’s technology, many people are coming into the industry with a do-it-all-yourself attitude and have never, and maybe will never, come into contact with a traditionally structured professional film outfit. That means that when you check out the Behind the Scenes of your favourite Hollywood movies, you have no idea what that Craghopper clad, burley guy holding a piece of metal is doing. Believe it or not, you shouldn’t really have to keep an eye on your reflector leant up against a camera bag and light stand as you delicately try to poise the camera on a slider & double stacked tripod head. In a professional production, there is a whole department that deals with that for you. Mark Vargo’s video above does a good job highlighting the key roles of a grip, whilst going into a little detail regarding popular used tools, such as grades of gobos (light modifiers that “go between” the lights and the talent). Outside of Hollywood movies, Grips are widely used in the commercial industry, as well as high profile corporate, narrative and music videos. The smaller the jobs are, the more blurred set roles can become. Basically speaking, the Grip Department is responsible for camera and lighting support. The key word here is support, where they never usually touch a light fixture or piece of camera kit, just the supporting elements. Mark Vargo describes them as skilled technicians drawing experience from highly technical vocations. I couldn’t have put it better myself.Read more
You might have heard of Pictar from their very successful Kickstarter campaign. Now that the product seems to be almost ready, we met up with Sean Henry to talk about their iPhone camera grip. Pictar for iPhone In May this year, the Pictar Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded raising over $300.000. The company claimed to be ready for shipping the units out in November, so we caught up with them at Photokina 2016 in order to talk in-depth about this new kind of iPhone camera accessory. Pictar is a hardware device that can be mounted to the iPhone (or is it vice versa?) resulting in a camera-shaped grip for your phone. The hardware incorporates a series of dials and buttons which you’d normally find on real camera bodies, such as dials for exposure and zoom, a shutter release button and even a cold shoe mount. The second half of the product is all about software. Sean Henry from Miggo (the company behind Pictar) puts it like this: I think if you only provide either the software or only the hardware, you’re missing the point. Actually it’s bringing these two together in a uniform way that is really nice. The hardware communicates with the software app via ultrasound which is picked up by the iPhone’s microphone (but is limited to a range of about one foot, so no need to worry about freaking out your neighbourhood dogs). There are various modes to choose from, with even a selfie mode available. Everybody loves selfies these days, right? For slightly more serious applications, you should look into the DSLR-like shutter button. It offers a “half press” mode to lock focus and exposure for easy tracking of a moving object or to create a desired composition, as well as full-press for immediate shutter release. There is a smart-wheel control, too, which can be mapped to several functions, such as: Shutter priority ISO priority Manual (iPhone manual = Shutter + ISO adjustments). changing exposure using the front dial All the above features are available for shooting videos too, of course, so the device is really capable of improving the native photo or video apps the iPhone comes with. Pictar is designed to accommodate iPhones of several sizes, such as iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and the new iPhone 7. For the bigger sized plus models there is a Pictar Plus model available. Pricing and availability The Pictar will be available around November this year and its price is set to $100 in the US. There will be an Android version, too, so Pictar will be cross-platform by next year.Read more
Check out the Zacuto Trigger Arm system: its quick release design allows you easily pivots at the joints, allowing for convenient storage and ergonomics. Zacuto Product Designer Steve Weiss told Nino all about it at Cine Gear 2016 at Paramount Studios Hollywood. The battle for shoulder rig comfort continues. The new Zacuto Trigger Arm is the latest newcomer to an ever more populated market of accessories for cameras such as the Sony FS5, Sony FS7, and Canon Cinema line, whose usability benefits greatly from a good shoulder rig and grip arm. Nino has reviewed the Shape FS7 Extension Handle in a video review already, which is the closest match to this upcoming Zacuto product. The Zacuto trigger arm works by connecting the grip of your choice to their existing shoulder rig, allowing you to quickly pivot it out of the way with the flick of a knob. This means you can quickly set the camera on a flat surface, or even store your camera in a case or bag without having to remove the arm. The arms themselves are all slightly different depending on the camera they’re designed for, but what they all have in common is their multiple angle adjustments to give you just the position you need to stay comfortable during those long shooting days. The Zacuto Trigger Arm system can also be used with other arms, as the main connection is a standard 15mm rod. The Zacuto Trigger Arm will be available soon, and we will keep you updated with all the relevant links.Read more
China based camera manufacturer Kinefinity is known for their very affordable RAW shooting cameras that were released earlier this year. Now they introduced a new codec that improves storage space by 3x. Kinefinity has created a lot of headlines for their very affordable 4K KineMINI camera and the 6K KineMAX that is to arrive next. We notice that Kinefinity is still working on improving the camera firmware and eco system around it. The introduction of their proprietary KineRAW codec and the continued improvement of the internal color matrix is just another step in making their cameras more accessible to filmmakers. Previously users could only record uncompressed DNG files in camera, the KineRAW codec promises a 3:1 compression without loss of quality. The new codec will be available soon. For more information check out their website: www.kinefinity.tv image via newsshooterRead more
This is one of Zacuto’s extremely useful inventions this year. A cable and mount to relocate all that camera control for the Canon EOS C300 We’ve been given an introduction to Zacuto’s new Recoil Rig, the Tornado handgrip follow focus & the C300 grip relocator in April (LINK) While we still don’t know when the cool Tornado Follow Focus will be out we have just received a release date for the new C300 grip relocator: It will start shipping on July 5th and take another 7-10 days from there. Grip Relocator only is $337.25 and can be ordered here: Grip Relocator with Zgrip Handle is $565.95 and can be ordered here: Europeans can get it at the Zacuto store. Well that is certainly not cheap for a cable and plug, but probably very worthwhile for C300 shooters. This also works for the Canon EOS C500 by the way.Read more
We reported about the Vocas high quality gear rings last month, but I’m not getting tired to see more of their stuff. It might be more expensive than cheaper gear, but what’s amazing about this companies products for me is that their gear is trustworthy, durable and versatile so it will survive the generations of our equipment. The wooden handgrip is definitely a luxurious product, but it’s so useful as well. I’ve never felt so much control instantly over a camera rig. The new mattebox is a compact, lightweight solution for large lenses if you don’t wanna take a big Arri or Chrosziel version with you. And the “shoulder support underneath” as it’s called here brings what the rear end Vocas shoulder pad did over to cameras like the FS100 or F3. It allows the cameras to sit on your shoulder as opposed to in front of your face. So if you’re looking for balance in a rig this is definitely the item that will get you there more easily. No word on when these things will be available, but it looks like the shoulder support is already in stock. Prices by Bas Ladru (Vocas): Wooden Handgrip: about 500€ Mattebox: about 800€ – 900€ Shoulder Support: about 275€ Get more Vocas stuff here 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
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