After a post about boosting your SEO , this is the second post on a wider aspect of video and photography business and how I see the changes coming. Being a good photographer or cameraman is not enough anymore to survive the video and photography business. Where a good portfolio and few meeting should have you covered in the past; you need now to work on your SEO and follow a more larger competition. But the future will shows a lot of changes in the way clients will reach you for a an assignment as well. It’s called disruption because a new business model emerge on the photography and video market. Splitting your website in many sub-entities is part of the game.
SEO, ranking, what are they in real life and how to improve these will be the game of the day. Below are few tips to solve the impossible equation on how do I increase my visibility on Google.
For the novice, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It basically means: how to make sure your webpage will be on some result, as Google or Bing, but if you are reading this, you know this already. Ranking is your position on the search engine response to anyone request. Better ranking is obviously what you are looking for to make sure you are on top of the search results.If your business depend on clients that contact you remotely, clearly, you should invest a lot of time to makes things better.
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.
hong kong cameraman local crew in HK to hire freelancer sound tech boom operator dop local crew
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 Hong Kong, 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…
What should be your next camera: Sony FS7 mark II vs fS7 or FS5, gh5, bmc, …
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.
Looking online about this setup did not give you much detail so I decided to get a try and succeed to balance my 4K camera Sony FS7 on DJI Ronin-M. Please find below my detailed explanation and real work done. According to the DJI Ronin M specs, The Sony FS7 is too heavy for such setup and the arm too short to get it put inside. 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. This is true for many gimbals actually. The balance should be done perfectly to save power and constraint on the gimbals motors.
First, my assignment was for the Auto Show at Shanghai 2017 where we should quickly go for few stabilizes motion shots, 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. Also, There is not so much backstage room most of the time on fair and show, so getting something tool-less with a quick mounting system is a must.
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.
#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. SmallRig slowly grow and have now more offer at a decent price and quality.
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.
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. Of course, you may want your DSLR as small as possible to put on a gimbals, but otherwise, a cage is a must.
This is the missing part if you own an Atomos recorder. It allows you to lock it and mount it to almost any possible camera or support, it remove the very weak 2 small crew hole from the equation and let you enjoy a lot of other support options. It do not add a lot of weight, but clearly will help getting its lifspan extended.
It can also accept a very sun-hood that can be kept in place in your bag. I strongly suggest also to use a tablet protective sheet on the screen to avoid possible scratch and ruin your monitor. Please make sure to cut it with a brand new blade and not a pair of ciseau to make sure it will be sticky enough on the corners.
Running a rental house, I’m often scared by little details that can make change the face of your shooting. Most of my clients bring their camera from overseas, but rent the tripod locally; and one of the most common mistake when they bring it back, is to forget the top plate on their camera. So, Losing my top plate is something very real and quite scary; without it, the full tripod is useless.
Of course, if you are using a Manfrotto one; it’s quite easy to get replacement plate for cheap (and Smallrig also have plenty of options for you) but when you are moving to something a bit more professional a Vinten perfect Balance Series, it’s start to be way more complicated as these are imported product. First, I think Vinten’s one are overpriced, but if you add importation taxes and time to get it delivered to China, it’s an easy 4 weeks without any way to use your tripod head. Something no one can afford.
I came by to test the Vinten replacement plate from smallrig 4 months ago and I feel no way relax to get my tripod out. Their version is a bit different in the design, especially on the bottom side, but it’s very strong and can be use without any fear of getting loose. The screw are a bit different, so, be careful if you are mixing with the original one, but it can accept larger ones, where Vinten force you to use a smaller head diameter.
Side by side, the Original and the backup, I use the Vinten 3 and 5 AS with these.
On the SmallRig one, the screw can not travel all the way and there is a 3/8 thread if you need to screw an accessory on it, frankly, I’m not sure why I will do that as it only get in a very thin part of the metal.
Overall, for the price, this is a must have item as backup if you have a Vinten AS head, it can also help you to switch camera to tripod or slider for example. My only wish will be to get the bottom locking plate also with the Vinten size in order to get more coupling combinations.
To my knowledge, this is the only third part Vinten plate you can buy now!
The last item you are investing it is most of the time the rod. To be honest, I never be found of the silver look and switched to carbon fiber also to avoid the weight.
Unfortunately, the metal rods are most of the time the only way to go to get some rig design sturdy enough for your purpose. I have tried the super expensive Redrockmicro or the more affordable Skier and got with some rig with a lot of cheap Chinese one.
Smallrig is a newcomer on the wide Chinese copycat rig designer.
Where Chinese brand as Tilta, Movcam or Lanparte are getting better of designing specific rig and keeping price high, Smallrig is more a lego provider with a very strong inspiration from WoodenCamera and completely affordable prices. They have a English website and great email feedbacks. They are open for suggestion and part of their store is a “co designed” section where you can suggest different new design.
You may find online some information about products to be released, product just released, but what about the product released one year ago and how do they hold they promises. This post also hold a lot of tips from my experience.
Here are my thoughts after one year of using as a professional tools the DJI Inspire. This product evolved a lot, mostly its software, from a amazingly powerful designed device to a more family oriented product.
Propellers: During this year, DJI changed 3 time its locking propeller system, so I guess many of the pilot experimented some propeller trouble, it also avoid any unbranded carbon fiber propeller and forced you to stick to the DJI as the shape is quite hard to reproduced by third party. I have no trouble with that. Just make sure it doesn’t get loose after each mounting/dismantle operation. Get plenty of propeller around and don’t get cheap if you feel something is not right; just put a new one!
Looking for the best tips when Shooting video with Sony A7S
The Sony A7S is a fantastic tools, but with a lot of issue when you need to use it in a professional way.
Here are few tips to help you using it.
When you switch mode between NTSC and PAL, The camera format the memory card without any warning!
So if you do some nice interview at 25P and decide to go for high speed 120 fps later… Copy the card before or you will loose everything!
You can’t do a custom white balance in video mode. You have to go for “M” picture mode, shoot a sample white backdrop, register it inside one of the 3 manual white balance.
Switch back to “Movie” mode and you can use them. You can also adjust a bit the Y-B M-G cast at this time by using the right click on the wheel
To make sure you have enough electric power for 2 hours, use the battery grip.
diy lens support with battery grip for Sony A7S camera with metabones adapter
It will also helps you leveling the camera plate and with a bit of DIY, you will have a complete rigid link between the metabones and camera body.
And if you need to go further about how the camera work internally, please check my White balance and Raw explanation.