The new MiniM & TEO from Cinemartin combine a state-of-the-art monitoring display, a cinema quality recorder, live streaming capabilities and an accomplished onboard computer into a portable—and relatively affordable—device. Through exciting new releases, recent firmware updates, and price drops, Atomos and Convergent Design have established themselves as the dominant players in the external recorder/monitor market. However, Spanish manufacturer Cinemartin just announced products that, for a reasonable jump in price, could bring you a whole bunch of extra features in a similar form factor. Note: these are prototype photos only A First look at the New Products from Cinemartin The MiniM and TEO lay claim to being the world’s first UHD and QHD 5.6” HDMI monitors, respectively. For more demanding users, the TEO’s big brother, the NEXT, features 6G-SDI ins and outs. The OLED displays on the devices offer an angle of view of over 170 degrees at 550 NIT which, although barely a third of the 1500 NIT from the recently announced Atomos Flame range, it is still 150 NIT more than the original Atomos Shogun. The displays also support LUTs and feature assist tools, such as vectorscope and waveform. Regarding storage, the models do things a little differently than the competition—thanks to internal 250GB and 500GB SSDs for the base models, configurable with up to 2TB. Supported recording formats include H.264, HEVC H.265, ProRes in 8-Bit or 10-Bit, at 4:2:0 and 4:2:2, or 4:4:4 in 4K. They can also record AVI uncompressed in 4:4:4 10-Bit 4K in DPX at around 1.2GB/s. Cinemartin claims read/write speeds of up to around 5.6GB/s, due to the combination of the SSD with the internal RAM buffer. Which brings us to the next point, the one that sets the MiniM and TEO apart from the rest. These “monitors” can function as true, portable computers, sporting the latest Skylake processors from Intel, and 16GB of RAM, expandable to 32GB. Four USB 3.0 ports allow you to circumvent the issue of internal storage by backing up externally, but you can also plug in a keyboard and edit the footage directly in your NLE of choice because—oh, that’s right!—the devices run Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit. Apple’s OS X is also supported “via tonymacx86 guides” which, for the uninitiated, translates as going down the Hackintosh route. The MiniM and TEO also provide Live Broadcast functionality via WiFi, or through a mobile network via a USB SIM adapter. The battery plates (sold separately) can adapt Canon or Sony batteries, claiming a battery life of around 3 hours. DC power and external power supplies like DTAP are also supported. At 14x10x5cm, the units are a bit larger than the average monitor/recorder form factor. They do, however, offer the flexibility of a PC, with a configurable display, storage, RAM and processor, all for a starting price of under $2,000. A solution like this could be ideal to expand the usability of even the most modest of cameras, with an array of features for shooters of all pedigrees, ranging from narrative filmmaking to news broadcast. Preordering for the TEO QHD is available from Cinemartin with an estimated shipping date in June 2016, while the UHD version is up for funding on Indiegogo with shipping taking place later in the year. Would a device like this find a place in your workflow? Post your comments below!Read more
Atomos has announced a price drop on both of their 4K field recorders. The Atomos Shogun 4K and Ninja Assassin 4K HDMI are both getting up to $500 taken from their usual retail price—bringing their package costs down to $1495 and $995 respectively. Atomos has become the place to go for affordable field recorders/monitors. The Atomos Shogun package sees a price drop of $500 to $1495. The 4K recorder offers a host of features, including 3D LUT support, HDMI/SDI conversion, as well as a wide variety of exposure & focus aids. The Ninja Assassin popped up the tail end of last year, offering the same 7″ screen, 4K recording and focus & exposure aids but bypassed SDI, genlock, raw and balanced XLR by presenting a 35% cheaper overall package. You can now grab the lightweight 4K recorder for $995, a $300 drop in price. From Atomos CEO Jeromy Young: “We are very proud to offer such cutting edge technology at truly amazing price points. 4K for under $1K will continue to speed up 4K adoption globally…Don’t forget, these are the most affordable 7” Full HD monitors on the planet, ignoring the 4K/HD recording, playback, and editing capability we give you for free”. Atomos has faced some competition as of late, with both Blackmagic and Video Devices chiming in with their own field recorder/monitors. Each product has its perks; Atomos producing a lovely balance between a stellar field monitor as well as a 4K recorder. Check out our comparison of the Atomos Shogun 4K and the Video Devices PIX-E5 here. We will also see a promotion for February on the Atomos Ninja Star. Customers will receive a free 64G CFast card when purchasing the screen-less ProRes recorder. The Atomos Ninja Star package sits at $295, benefitting from $184 added value with this deal. Atomos are also lowering the price of their popular HD Converters, Connect and Connect-AC to $195 USD.Read more
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
Sound Devices & Video Devices are known for their great Video & Audio recording devices. The new small 4K recorder they just presented at NAB 2015 seems like an ergonomic dream come true and has a lot of advantages over other products in the market. At an affordable price, with affordable media, it seems like this is one device not to be missed. The Video Devices PIX-E5 is compact and gets a 4K signal out of the Sony Alpha a7S among many other cameras. The design is very solid with touch-screen as well as tactile controls. There are many useful features in a bundle that looks and feels very professional. All inputs are locked down, no cables can pop out. The media solution is really impressive as well. It’s a USB3 enclosure that sits at the back of the device. You can use it with your own M-SATA mini drives and upgrade it at any time later on with affordable and very fast media. The enclosure itself comes with the device and an additional unit costs $59. We were intrigued by this product, it seems well made all around. The only limitation is the framerate that maxes out at 60p in HD. So no slomo recording with this one. Also there is no RAW, but the Apple ProRes 4444 XQ makes up for it. The PIX-LR is a screw-on accessory that provides the monitors with two XLR inputs and outputs, featuring mic preamps, LED level meters and dedicated transport and gain controls. At $1395 this small 4K recorder is much more affordable than an Atomos Shogun for example and at first glance seems better suited to cameras like the GH4 or A7S as well as in terms of usability, but of courses missed the slomo functionality. We will have a comparison between the two devices soon. The competition that is going on in this sector is seriously interesting. The specs at a glance: 5″ 1920 x 1080 Touchscreen Display Records 4K (4096 x 2160) up to 30 fps Records 1080p up to 60 fps All flavours of ProRes up to 4444 XQ (!!!) Uses a USB 3.0 SpeedDrive (The case is $59) 4K-Capable HDMI Input with Loop-Through 3G-SDI Input with Loop-Through Analog Audio Input Physical Buttons and Jog-Dial Controls Peaking, Zebra, Quick Zoom, FlaseColor, etc… The $1395 Video Devices PIX-E5 is available for pre-order HERE. The hdmi-only version is the Video Devices PIX-E5H and costs $1195. The 7″ version Video Devices PIX-E7 is $1595.Read more
Convergent Design has released a recorder that will compete nicely with the Atomos Shogun. The Odyssey 7Q+ is a 4K raw recorder, with the addition of a HDMI input for direct compatibly with cameras like the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7S. The Odyssey 7Q is a compact solution combining advanced recording abilities over SDI with a 7.7″ OLED screen for monitoring. The Odyssey 7Q+ offers exactly this, but with a HDMI input also. Check out the below video released by Convergent Design discussing the wide capability of Odyssey 7Q+. The down conversion of a signal is a nice touch; on smaller budget shoots sometimes not every component is 4K compatible. Having the ability to record in 4K but output FullHD will help in these workflows, a perfect example of this is displayed in the above video where you want to record drone footage in 4K, but send a wireless signal in 1920X1080. The ability to apply LUTs to your image whilst recording in raw/log is great; not everyone on set will know how to determine a log image, having the ability to supply an image in the ballpark of a finished result is much more pleasing to clients. The Odyssey 7Q+ has the ability to record 4K images up to 60p, and 2K images up to 120p. The purchase of the device includes ProRes capture of up to 30p in 4K, and 60P 2k/1080. The former mentioned higher frame rates are unlocked with an additional software purchase/hire. This is worth noting with the 7Q+, like all Odyssey recorders only certain features are included in the initial purchase, this along with proprietary media can significantly add to the overall cost of your package, so factor this into your purchase. Here is a list of the included features and available paid upgrades: Included Recording Options Compressed Formats: 4K/UHD 10-bit YCC 4:2:2 up to 30fps in Apple ProRes 422 HQ 2K/1080p 10-bit YCC 4:2:2 up to 60fps in Apple ProRes 422 HQ 1080i 10-bit YCC 4:2:2 up to 60i in Apple ProRes 422 HQ 720p 10-bit YCC 4:2:2 up to 60fps in Apple ProRes 422 HQ Uncompressed Formats: 2K/1080p RGB 10/12-bit 4:4:4 up to 30fps in DPX file format 1080p RGB 10-bit 4:4:4 up to 60fps in DPX file format Record Options for Purchase or Rental ARRI ALEXA ARRIRAW (16:9) up to 60fpsCanon C500 4K (4096×2160) RAW up to 60fps UHD (3840×2160) RAW up to 60fps 4K “Half-RAW” up to 120fpsSony FS RAW 4K RAW up to 60fps 4K RAW 120fps burst 2K RAW up to 240fps “4K24K” 4K RAW to 4K Apple ProRes 422 HQ up to 30fps “4K2HD” 4K RAW to HD Apple ProRes 422 HQ up to 60fps POV RAW POV 2K 10-bit RAW POV HD 10-bit RAW POV HD 12-bit RAW Note: ARRIRAW above 30fps, Canon RAW 50/60fps, and Sony FS 2K RAW 200fps and 240fps require two SSDs And here is a list of the key features of the Odyssey 7Q+ 7.7″, OLED, 8-bit, touchscreen panel 1280×800 resolution Intuitive touchscreen interface 3400:1 contrast ratio, true blacks HD/2K/UHD/4K recording over HDMI or SDI 2x 3G-SDI inputs, 2x 3G-SDI outputs, 2x bi-directional inputs Supports Single, Dual, and Quad Link formats HDMI input: up to 1080p60 4:2:2, up to 30 fps in UHD (3840×2160), and up to 24 fps in 4K (4096×2160) HDMI output: up to 1080p30 Output downscaling 2 channels of embedded audio, 48kHz, 24-bit ARRI, Canon, and Sony LUT Support Image analysis tools (Waveform, Histogram, False Color, Focus Assist, Zebras, Pixel Zoom) The Odyssey 7Q+ is available for pre-order now, and is likely to ship before the end of the year. At $2295.00 it is more or less in the ballpark of the Atomos Shogun. Although as stated earlier, media and additional firmware support will significantly up the price (albeit with more peripherals, so pick the package that suits you best).Read more
One of our favourite light & gear manufacturers F&V have released an HD EVF of their own this week, joining the few other HD EVF’s out there that we’ve seen hit the marke over the last year. F&V makes some of the greatest quality LED lights we’ve seen, yet also offers the most affordable prices. At NAB they released some new versions of their famous K4000 including the K8000 which is twice as large, a new and really good follow focus, as well as a whole new line of rigging parts which can soon all be found here. While I’ve recently been searching for a suitable EVF that would be a good match for all the cameras I’m using I still haven’t been able to find one I’m happy with. Here’s another possible choice, the new F&V Spectra HD4 which has a resolution of 1280×720 and features a large screen size of 4.3 inch, similar to the smallHD DP4. It has inputs and outputs for SDI and HDMI and allows for cross conversion between the two just like the new Zacuto Gratical EVF. The large screen size of the impressive screen is intended to give you the possibility to use the EVF as a monitor. While this might not be ideal approach for people who want to go for a small-sized EVF, it is surely a valid small monitor solution. The loupe itself is still big and unhandy, but I was told they will try to reduce the length for the final version in order to make the design more suitable for small setups. The Spectra HD4 will be available this summer at www.fvlighting.comRead more
Early this year, Atomos released the Connect SDI/HDMI convertor. It’s a portable convertor that comes in two flavours – the Connect H2S (converts HDMI to SDI) and the Connect S2H (converts SDI to HDMI). It’s a fantastic little device, and has been somewhat overlooked since its release earlier in the summer. Now, there are a few products out there that perform the conversion task, but the majority are not portable. Despite being small devices, most require AC power. This immediately bumps the Atomos Connect towards the top of the list for fieldwork. But Atomos didn’t simply just add a battery; this is a well-designed bit of kit that’s made to fit seamlessly into any professional workflow that requires this conversion.Read more
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