Sometimes, I have a feeling my blog is more a catalogue of Smallrig product presentation, but it’s also a way to says that something is happening in Shenzhen area and DJI is not the only one to get out of the copycat market. I have been using plenty of their products and have positive feedback to share here.
Going for a project last month where one of my Sony FS7 should have been used half of the time as a regular camera and the second half on a gimbal. I wanted to check how makes thing even smarter for me. I was planning on using with a Ronin-M as it was actual a successful test, but needed also a strong way to carry the camera when put on sticks. You can check my past setup here.
I love the Nato system as it keep the camera body with a limited weight on the gimbal, but still super sturdy and can be locked when adding a handle. I wish I could even have a longer NATO plate. It seems that Smallrig is thinking about it.
Owner of both a FS7 Mark1 and mark2, it was very tempting to try to upgrade the version one to be closer to the upgraded version and switch from each of them flawlessly.
The first easy fix is the microphone holder.
Honestly, if you are working for Sony team who designed this; I would love to get a word with you. How in the world, after designing hundred of cameras, you ended with such fragile solution?
For those not familiar with it; it’s a 15 mm aluminum rod with a cap in plastic where 4 tiny screws are supposed to hold the weight of a microphone. On top of these, of course, two, even thinner, plastic clips are the only link with the rest of the camera. You can imagine what’s happening when you put this in a camera bag as the microphone is in the top of your camera? Life expectation of the ensemble is about a week.
I bought my FS7 in perfect condition from a company running out of business in Shenzhen, and even if the body was in perfect condition, this part was damaged.
Things are moving fast, super fast.
From few years ago when hiring a steadycam operator was the only way to go, to the rise of Ronin and similar gimbals, to the new trend of DSLR only on top of one single hand held gimbal. I feel that every 2 years, a revolution is happening on how we produce moving images.
Covering Victoria’s Secret 2017 Shanghai fashion shows happened in 4 different parts; The Backstage/Make up where you can interview models during a 20mn session, The VIPs Pink Carpet where VIPs are coming to the show and can also be interviewed about 90mn long for 40 pax, the Show recording itself and another Pink Carpet for the party after the show where models have way more time to talk and feel more relaxed, about 1 hour long.
Streaming unit, LiveU 500, what to know about if you need to work with it.
I was recently asked to use a new device for me, the LiveU500. I first was surprised as I never mention my ability of working with these, but I kind of knew already what it was and was happy to see that my client will help me with some training.
Here is my experience working with one unit to let you one day, using it on your own. It’s actually simpler than I though.
Since we now providing video service in larger Guangdong area, it was a necessity to get a more local crew and website.
This is now done with our sister registered company in HK and a new presence on the web.
For Guangzhou, Shenzhen and, of course HongKong, I have created www.video-photographer-in-hongkong-freelance-cameraman.com/ for you.Feel free to give us comment below.
Internet is always full of information, and Google your best friends I use to say… but it’s sometime hard to get the one fitting your needs and accurate as search engine promote their partners first. Google now try to profile you and the answer may not be the same depending on your past search which could be a nightmare to get what you are looking for.
I strongly suggest alternative search engine and using the incognito mode on your browser when you are looking for “fresh” result.
I have tried to put few of important websites you would like to check and helps you decide which way you should go.
This is the second iteration from smallrig on the quest for the perfect VCT shoulder mount support.
I will not spend too much time on the first version as it’s not available anymore, but plenty of things where just simply not working. So, let’s see what this one has to offer.
Sometimes, being the first to try something can be a bit frustrating, especially, when it’s simply not working at the end.
I have been trying to find a way to get more range with a single zoom lens and keep my bag light at the same time. A simple teleconverter was one possible option and I was looking for one compatible with the FS7 and my lens.
A 1.4x or 2x factor seems a good option and will help when I need a bit more of reach without carrying another lens. My Sony Cine 18-110 becoming a 35 mm equivalent of a 24-150; not bad if it’s working. But…
Camera and video camera are getting cheaper every year and more and more people have access to it. The market expand and it’s getting sometime confusing to understand what a camera is actually capable of, either when you want to buy one, or when you want to use one you rented.
I have tried here to sum up in a simple way each step of setting your camera recording mode and how it will impact your image.
This step by step is also the way you will have to follow the menus inside your camera system as it may need to reboot at some point when changes are requested.
This is more for a video camera, but as a photographer, you still may learn few notion and help you jump to video.
How to shoot S-Log in with the Sony FS7? (and why you should)
Shooting S-log is a bit like recording in 4K but watching it on your phone, compressed by Youtube.
You recording more information and see if you want to use it or not later. Shooting large resolution as 4K let you have more room for re-framing or stabilizing your footage. With S-Log, it a bit the same; You record more of the highlight and shadows and see is you may want to change the exposure later. It works a bit the same than shooting raw. The main difference is that raw takes a lot of space in your memory card, where S log tried to keep all acceptable. There are less latitude than in raw, but way less space also, and it can be done without any external recorder.
Why this name?
S log stand for Sony Log, You have also C log for canon and so on. The principle is the same even if I will be talking here only about using it on a Sony FS7 camera. LOG stand for logarithmic as the shape of the mathematical calculation the camera need to do, have this S logarithmic shape .
How does it work?
Screens on you TV or your computer actually did not follow the fast development your camera sensor; you can record more information than your TV can display. This may change with HDR TV, but for now, let keep it with regular TV/computer screen audience. Again, a bit like watching a Full HD video on a lower resolution screen, the picture look great, but you can’t tell the difference cause your screen is not able to display it.
You will find plenty of blogs with the technical differences between these cameras, but what does it mean in real life? ( for real users and not just specs readers).
I have tried here to talk more about usability than just specs as corporate shooter.
(The current 4K offers on May 2017).
It’s fair to says that the offer to shoot broadcast ready 4K videos these days are actually quite limited.
I will talk here about few camera and explain why it’s options to worth considering. (If you think a phone is an option, you are not on the right website)
Black Magic Design Mini Pro (not the mini)
The new upgraded version WITH the ND internal filters finally put BMC to a level of a camera you may want to consider as you can now shoot in more environments without the need of extra cage with mate box or screwing filters. It’s still a 4.6 K sensor, giving you sometime bit more to stabilize. Unfortunately, the very limited low light capabilities and the absence of recognition from the market put this camera in a very special niche. Something worth considering if you are a filmmaker on your own and always able control lighting. Also the very small sensor size also limit your creativity as the lenses offer in the wide range or fast aperture. It will be very hard to get the same look than a Super35 or even worst : a full frame camera sensor.
After confirming that my 4 years old Canon C300 was not getting so much success on current 4K market, I first did a quest on the existing 4K offer. As the only clear winner was a Sony PXW FS7, the question of my existing lenses and how to use them got very important. Here are few tips and ideas and final buy to switch from one brand to another.
As many, I have started to get very nice lenses coming from my photography assignment and was very pleased to use them on video setup. Being a Canon shooter after few time with Nikon, It helps getting lenses system compatible with almost everything.
Getting a new camera is always something exciting and the first thing you may want to do is to fix few of the design flaw from Sony and get your personal touch.
(1) Better soft pad for your shoulder by using a wrist resting pad
Pick up a gel filled one and just pinch 2 or 3 holes on it, it’s very soft and (more…)
Being the happy owner of a FS7M2; the question of choosing the right battery will come very quickly.
You may also need to power accessories as a real EVF. Of course, one simple way will be to use the large V-lock battery and a rig to mount all at the rear of the camera.
This is one of my setup with the Sony FS7 mark I using Smallrig accessories.
The power out of the V-mount battery is sent to a distribution board in order to split it to the camera body and to the EVF. (more…)
Looking online about this setup did not give you much detail so I decided to get a try and succeed to balance and use such setup. Please find below my detailed explanation. This is not in the DJI Ronin-M specifications, but if you have a setup already balanced before turning on the motors, it will work as only a little energy is needed to fight the movements.
First, my assignment was for the Auto Show at Shanghai 2017 where we should quickly go for few stabilizes motion shot, to more details and static shot on tripod. I wanted to get a very simple way to switch from one to another without the need of any tools; the camera chosen by my client, Renault innovation was a Sony FS7.
I successfully tested the full size DJI Ronin with a Sony FS7 before, but the size of the gimbal and its weight is a killer if you don’t have a way to support it with an Easyrig backpack or similar. This is heavy and not practical in a fair environment. With the smaller Ronin-M, you can get inside cars and keep shooting for way longer time. (more…)
Always wondering what’s inside a DJI cine SSD and if you could get you way around it?
Not sure you can do that!
After opening it, you will find a Samsung SSD, connected to a sub board with a proprietary board to restrain from using your own system
Investing in a EVF is a interesting choice; either it’s by comfort as your camera do not offer a decent one, either it’s by obligations on your side when your eyes start to make close object not so sharp anymore.
For me, that was the second one but I realized that I should have bought one sooner. The Zacuto Gratical EYE OLED is my first one, so i can’t compare only to the one you can have on camera as the fixed one on c300 or the Sony lens piece on the ex3 or fs7.
In any case, the advantages of owning one are now obvious and I will buy another this again and again if you ask me. (more…)
#2 Top plate for Canon EOS C300/C100 from SmallRig
As the Vinten extra plate is a must have for vinten AS perfect balance owner, this top plate accessory fro Smallrig is the best top plate you can have to protect and upgrade your C300 camera.
I have first tried the WoodenCamera plate but it felt short compare the this higly inspired from SmallRig. It comes with 2 side mounts that goes in both sensor marker and gives you a solid 3 point link for this plate. It let you mount many accessories or keep original handle in a much better place.
It also makes super easy to break down the camera in a bag without unscrewing anything. As I’m doing rental, this top has been protecting my investment ever since I installed it. One major default from Canon being how loose the handle screw always gets and ends damaging it. If your hot shoe screw is gone, it’s a nice way to repair your camera. (more…)
The end of the year is always a quiet time and a perfect moment to look back at your office worktable and check what went on it, what stay in a drawer and what you actually have on your camera rig. I’m always asking myself if I had to do it again, what will be my choices. Here is the first of a series of post about my best of this year!
#1 The universal DSLR cage, one to rule them all.
I hate the idea of buying a cage for a DSLR system; unlike for a video camera, with a limited possible model, there is so many DSLR and with a very short lifespan that putting a lot of money in one model seems a complete lost.