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 new Sony a7S II and Sony a7R II are currently leading the list of most powerful affordable large sensor cameras (Check out our comparison Review). To make those cameras work with third party accessories, a good camera cage is often a must. Read on to find the best Sony a7S II Cage (and a7R II Cage) out of 8 we tested. Review by Sebastian Wöber & Johnnie Behiri In August we reviewed the best cages for the original Sony a7S and now we take a look at cages for the new a7S II and a7R II cameras that share an identical body design. There are more cages out there that we didn’t test. Here we’re reviewing the ones that manufacturers sent to us in time to meet our publication deadline. We followed the same basic review guidelines of our first test, but also took reader comments into account. In particular Metabones adapter support was one review point that some of you were more interested in. We tried to keep it short, but this review is extensive. That’s why we split the reviews for each single cage into a separate page. Do you Need a Cage? In the age of small cinema cameras the camera cage has become the most popular accessory by now. But it is not always a good idea to follow the trend. First here’s a checklist to see if you really need a cage for your application. Mounting accessories on your camera? Cages provide mounting points (standard threads and coldshoes) so you can mount stuff. This is the main purpose of a camera cage, as the Sony a7 cameras by themselves don’t provide any other mouting points, besides one single hotshoe on top. Protection and Ergonomics. Cages protect the camera and can enhance the ergonomics, by offering a more handy form-factor or handle rec-triggers. On the other hand they add weight and some of thembulkyness. So if lightweight and compactness is your #1 concern, think again. HDMI cable protection. The original Sony a7S offered external 4K recording. As the new a7S II and a7R II have internal 4K, HDMI protection is less of a necessity. However if you intend to use HDMI for external screens, EVF or recording, then a cage that protects the HDMI port is essential. Lens Mount Support. If you use larger lenses or rigs with focusing gears, a solid lensport is a good idea. Sony’s native E-Mount is not the most sturdy of mounts and many shooters work with a Metabones adapter to use Canon EF mount lenses on the a7S II and a7R II. Why this Cage Comparison? Because there are huge quality differences between cages and you will not be happy with just any of them. Most of them actually are not recommended. Don’t just order a Sony a7S II cage blindly. You should weigh all the pro’s & con’s of the cages we present, so you can decide which of them will tick most or all your boxes. In our conclusion we will tell you which one we liked best, which ones we recommend and which need improvement. Structure of Each Review: Ease of assembly and disassembly. How securely is the camera attached to the cage? HDMI cable protector design. Do we have access to other outputs on the side? Is it possible to use the Sony XLR-K2M audio module? Can we easily access the lens release button? How well can we attach a tripod plate? How good is the included Rod Support? Metabones Mount Quality. The top-handle design. Overall ergonomics. Conclusion How We Rate We rated each point as follows: Double-green: In some rare cases we decided to give a double-green rating for outstanding performance/design. Green: The product performs as it should. Orange: There are some issues, but it’s ok. Red: The product didn’t live up to our expectations. Double-Red: Something is wrong here and should be addressed by the manufacturer. The Cages we Reviewed Simply click on the name of the product to get to the review page or find the conclusion at the end of this article. Products reviewed in alphabetical order. 8Sinn a7RII / a7SII Cage Came-Tv Rig for a7SII / a7RII Movcam a7RII / a7SII Cage Kit Moza Cage for Mirrorless Cameras Shape Sony a7S II / a7R II Cage Skier LiteCage for A7RII / A7SII Tilta for Sony a7 Cage ES-T17 Varavon Cage for a7R II, a7S II GO TO PAGE 2 → Links to each Cage Review: Page 1: Introduction Page 2: 8Sinn a7RII / a7SII Cage Page 3: Came-Tv Rig for a7SII / a7RII Page 4: Movcam a7RII / a7SII Cage Kit Page 5: Moza Cage for Mirrorless Cameras Page 6: Shape Sony a7S II / a7R II Cage Page 7: Skier LiteCage for A7RII / A7SII Page 8: Tilta for Sony a7 Cage ES-T17 Page 9: Varavon Cage for a7R II, a7S II Page 10: WinnerRead 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
Famous Dutch gear company Vocas also presented a few new products at NAB this year. Bas Ladru’s mother language might not be English, but rig making surely is, as past experience shows: Their handheld DSLR rig, won our editors choice award last year when we tested several handheld rigs. Bas showed me a very simple lens support unit that could come in very handy if you’re working with longer lenses. It comes with the great Vocas snap-on handle that sits on one side only. The new rail support works for the Sony F3 and Panasonic AF100 cameras and allows for a quick switch between 15mm and 19mm rods. The Vocas gear is extremely solid, durable and lightweight, but comes at a price. While the announced products are not yet available, the full DSLR handheld rig costs about $2100. Bas also mentioned that their modules are designed with versatility in mind and 80% of the dslr gear can be used with other cameras as well. We have talked about the Vocas gear here and here and here. Their DSLR rigs are available in the US: here Or through other retailers listed on their website for the rest of the world.Read more
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