In the last few years, cine-grade gear is becoming more affordable. When I started shooting video, Cine PL lenses were basically a dream to rent. Let alone own. Laowa has been a key player in bridging that gap as they bring their new line of cinema lenses. They really knocked it out the park with their new Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine. This video shows exactly just how well the $1500 dollar cine lens stacks up against an ARRI Ultra Prime 12mm T2.0 F Lens $35,000 lens.
The Rode Videomic NTG is the new top of the line mic form RODE, and it packs quite a few interesting features. It’s part of the VideoMic series which is usually for on-camera use, but it’s also an NTG which is usually used for the company’s high-end mics. We tested the microphone, and we can see why it’s both an NTG and a VideoMic. For our thoughts on the features and on the sound quality, hit the jump.
When Black Magic announced their Pocket 4k camera, they started a race. A race for
improving their crappy runtime being the best battery solution for the camera. And it’s a hard race to win. (technically, Black Magic said they would release a battery grip in September, but we are still waiting…)
I would say that every P4K battery solution has its ups and downs. The trick is to find the balance between size, placement, and battery life. IndiPro Tools think they’ve hit the nail on the head with their brand new Universal Power Grip. An all-in-one solution for power, usability, and convenience.
The Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO is just a slightly smaller version of its full-frame brother*. Venus Optics managed to cram in all the features and bonuses of its 100mm macro into a smaller package.
I remember the first time I bought a wireless lav system. It was a lot of money, but I finally bit the bullet and bought my first wireless Sennheiser G2 system. There I was, $600 down, but as happy as a clam. At the time, you couldn’t get a (decent) wireless body-packs for less than $450. My eyes were always set on Sennheiser though. Fast-forward half a decade later, and we have a bunch of wireless options. The prices have been going down and good quality has become more affordable. At $200.00, the Rode Wireless GO is one of the cheapest, most discreet, featured pack wireless systems on the market.
We live in a world where you get a new iPhone every year, with or without significant features. It is so refreshing to see a camera like the Canon 1Dx Mark III getting an announcement, even if just a development announcement. It took three years from the release of the Canon 1Dx Mark II to get a sign of life for the series, and we could not be happier.
Again, this is only a development announcement. What this means in practice is, “we’ve been making this camera, just so you know”.
We have the privilege of speaking to Drew Maccallum, a Senior Technical Specialist from Canon, who gracefully took the time to answer (or gracefull ignore) all of our questions, speculations, and concerns. With the PR team being away from the show, we could not get any representative on camera. Drew spoke very selectively about the information he was able to disclose. If you ask me though, he knows more than he shares.
Many most of the questions you’d like to know were responded with a smile and a wave of the hand: “These are not the droids you’re looking for” or something along the lines of “I can’t answer that right now”.
To understand my view on the Sachtler Flowtech 75 (B&H | Amazon) I need to share a story. I remember one time I walked into my rental house, and I came to pick up my Sony FS7. It was outfitted with all the bells and whistles that one would need for a production. I called the rental house owner and asked him the last minute if it’s ok to add a tripod. He told me, “sure, no problem! Take the Sachtler 20”. I asked the worker to get me one and asked him how much extra it was going to be and he said: “Nothing”. Later we chatted and I asked him how could it be that you give a $6,000 camera with a tripod that costs more than $11,000? That’s double what the camera costs! His answer stuck with me for years to come.
“A good tripod keeps everything on top of it safe, it’s cheaper for me to rent the tripod for free and have no broken cameras returned than to save some pennies on the tripod and fix a camera every few rentals.”
Photographers and videographers alike are plagued with the burden of carrying equipment, it’s really just part of the job. Whether you’re a photographer who wants to have all your flashes ready in a jiffy, or a videographer who has multiple systems and multiple lenses; you’ll eventually have to move your gear from point A to point B.
Backpacks have always been the way to go for me, they’re usually not very bulky, have more space, and are not restricted to any specific dimensions. However, as someone who travels a lot, I can find myself lugging a 25+ kilos backpack around airports with kilometers of walking at a time (thanks, Madrid). So it finally happened, I caved in and switched to the Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch-55. (Amazon | B&H)
Backpacks are a tough sell for me. I think that over the course of ten years in the game, I’ve accumulated more bags than a shopaholic. Everything from travel bags, to slings, to mini bags, TSA Approved bags, the whole nine yards… But there is one bag I have been waiting a while to switch, my drone bag. I just have not found the perfect drone bag yet.
Even with how small drones are getting, they, along with all their accessories need space and security, two things that regular backpacks, are hard to come by. Especially when you consider bags that are made either for photography or drones. In comes the Torvol Drone Explorer Backpack. The drone bag which is here to solve the problem of carrying both photography and drone equipment in one bag!
Grip is a completely undermined part of what we do as photographers and videographers. My cinema peers know what I’m talking about when I say that grips are absolute geniuses in their craft. I have seen people do amazing things with seemingly nothing, and after years of working next to some pretty professional people, I’ve accumulated a lot of appreciation for the work they do and the solutions they provide.
Manfrotto has an excellent line of grip accessories, everything from magic arms, to nano clamps, pumps, and a bunch more stuff! The problem is that it’s hard to recognize that a piece of equipment labeled as one thing, can actually be used for another. In the video, I discuss three nitty-gritty tactics I use outside of the comfort zone of a product description. And that’s really what I advocate when I try to get people excited about grip. You don’t necessarily have to be solving a problem, you can just be enhancing your workflow or creating options!