Smart box

Jokerbox

Sometimes you see things that you just fall in love with. (Loving gear is a problem, I know…)
Seems simple enough. A wooden box with dividers. So smart, so simple, I want them!  Check it out.

 

 http://jokerboxes.com

P.s. I reached out about 5 days ago to see about buying these in Europe but still no response, so I can’t speak for their customer support… :/

 

Disclaimer:  No connection with Jokerbox in any way

Convergent Design – OLED monitor

Photo: (c) Convergent Design
Photo: (c) Convergent Design

Today Convergent Design announced a new 7.7″ OLED monitor.  It has some really great features, other than the 1200×800 OLED display. It is also a recorder if you’d like.  So when you are ready to move into external recording you simply purchase an upgrade or even “rent” the recording options you need for that day and pay on a day to day basis. ArriRaw, Canon RAW, Avid DNxHD up to 1080p30/1080i60, HD/2K Uncompreseed RGB 444 up to 60fps, 4K support.   Brilliant concept if you ask me.  Buy the monitor at a great price (only $1295!!) and add the features you need, When you need them.  UPDATE , NOTE:  The Odyssey Q with more options etc is listed at $2300.   SEE:   http://www.convergent-design.com/Products/Odyssey7.aspx#7-vs-7Q-Comparison-24

Photo (c) Convergent Design
Photo (c) Convergent Design

Of course it has all the Focus Assist, YRGB Waveform, Histogram, False Color, Vectorscope, Zebras options as well.  Check out Convergent Designs site for all the details.

 

Disclaimer: No affiliation what so ever to CD.

ProViewfinder kit part2

Ok so this will be a fairly short post. There must have been some misunderstanding along the way because the ProVFM kit from AbelCine will ONLY work with an NTSC setting in the camera if you intend to use the HDVF-20a. We shoot mainly 25p and a little 50i video. The unit is being shipped back to AbelCine for a full refund.

PRO VFM unit

A couple of quick thoughts though.

1. Such a nice unit, really well engineered, sleek, and easy to attach/install. In less than 2 minutes the unit was attached to the Berkey plate. Screws and Allen Wrench included in the kit.

2. I would have liked to see and HD-SDI input with a loop through to take advantage of the HD signal output through the camera. It now uses the VIDEO out to send a signal to the VF. NTSC only except with HDVFC35W.

3. It would have been a nice accessory cable to be able to tap power from the remote port of the camera (should be possible considering the VF only pulls 4W), thereby freeing up a power tap outlet.

Power cables running from "driver unit" to D-tap

I am so sorry to see this unit go back it is the one accessory that would have made a big difference I think. Hopefully Abel Cine Tech will make a PAL compatible version down the line.

Disclaimer: We payed full price for this unit. Abel Cine Tech have been most helpful in the return process including paying for international shipping costs.

Wireless sound on SonyF3

I realize there are tons of options on wireless audio, big, small, expensive, less expensive. On a small camera one might choose to have a small light weight system to minimize form factor and weight. Not to long ago we bought the Sony Digital wireless system (DWR-S01D) and today we got an external case, DWA-F01D for it. Most of the time this 2-channel receiver is housed in the slot of our PDW-700 but we also want to be able to put it in a mixer bag or on the back of our PMW-F3.

External case DWA-F01D on the back of the F3

The adapter/case has 2 XLR connectors for 2 channels analog audio. It can be powered by a Sony L series battery which is a great option in a sound audio bag. It also has a 4 pin Hirose connector and a consumer DC in power plug making it really versatile in power options. A BNC connector for AES-3 digital audio output as well as word clock for sync also in BNC is included on the side.

I stuck it on the back of the F3 and here are my first thoughts.

First thing: it is pretty big/wide. Sony makes a slimmer case, without the option of powering by battery, which might actually be a better solution for attaching it to a camera. But since we intend to use it in a mixer bag as well we chose the bigger case. Considering all the other stuff we have stuck on there it doesn’t feel all wrong. It is sitting on top on the battery just underneath the PIX240 and it is just as wide as that.

Sittin on top of the battery in the back

We power the unit through a 4 pin Hirose connector attached to our battery plate. Works great. In the picture below you can also see the AES/EBU output and Sync input. There is also a headphone out with a volume control.

Powered by 4 pin Hirose

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On thing that was s little annoying was that the audio inputs (XLR connectors) were so close together I had to really work to fit 2 right angled XLR’s next to each other. I had to angle one to the side. I understand to fix this would have made the unit even wider but it was still annoying… 🙂

Tight fit for angled XLR connectors

This is something we’ll use when flying the F3 on a steadicam or moving about without being tethered.

F3 fed wirelessly from a sound mixer bag

So to summarize: if the receiver was going to be on the F3 all the time, I would get the slimmer adapter DWA-01D, but if you want a versatile case for stand alone use or in a mixer bag plus more power options this is the one to get. So great to get this system up and running on the F3 as well.

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Disclosure: No one asked my/payed me to write this post. All opinions are my own. We payed full list price for this unit.

Cineroid LED light- First Look

At NAB as IBC last year these lights were announced and now its time to have a look.  I am looking for a nice small fill light for a car interior and thought the Cineroid LED a try.

I went over to our dealer and borrowed one of their lights. It is a small battery powered LED light made up of 96 small flat LED lights. The kit comes with 2 “fronts”, light grills, one tungsten (3000K) and one daylight (5000K) as well as charger, battery and battery plate. The “light fronts” snaps on and off with 1 release on each side of the light. There is no glass or protective cover over the LEDs but the construction seems solid enough, and only time will tell if they stand up to regular field use.

The light is made of a hard plastic and feels like a pretty solid build. The buttons on the back, both On/Off  as well as the for switch controlling the fan, are recessed and fairly protected against damage.  The fan has an option of running automatically or manually. In manual mode it has 5 different speeds. At the higher settings it could cause audio issues in a really quiet room. Since I’ve not spent any time shooting with this light yet I can’t say how much the fan is needed to cool the unit. The back of the detachable LED also work as a heat sink which hopefully reduces the need for the fan. You can set the manual setting to 0 and effectively turning the fan off. In case of overheating the display will warn.

One minus is the power connecter which sticks out on the side and is a regular consumer connector. I don’t understand why every manufacturer making these lights insist on NOT using a more robust power connector. I really doubt it would affect the price that much and I think people would gladly pay and extra $20 for a connector that will actually last during regular field use. It is not as flimsy as other lights I’ve seen but one improvement for the next version would be to incorporate the power connector in the battery plate, attaching between the plate and the light. This would eliminate the need for the external cable.

On top of the light there is a rotary wheel which controls the dimming in 30 different steps. This is also a possible weak point in case the light would take a hit. The level of dimming is shown on the little LCD display on the back of the light.

 

 

SO how does the light actually light?

Positive first: A powerful little light.  What I really like about the output is the spread. At a distance of 2m (6,5ft) the spread is 3m (10ft) and with a difference of only 2/3 of a stop between the sides and the middle. So no more of the flashlight look that is a dead give away of an onboard light. This is Great. Output is roughly 12fc at 2 m giving a f2,8/800iso/180degree shutter/25fps.

If you want to narrow the throw there is a detachable grill that snaps on with 4 magnets holding it in place. This of course also cuts the output of the light.

The negative. As with most LED lights there is a problem with multiple shadows especially when lighting something close up, so also here.

This shows up mostly on a flat bright surface and it almost not noticeable on a face as you can see below.

You can reduce this greatly by putting some diffusion (Lee 216 in picture below) over it which softens the shadows enough not to show.

Conclusion. Before I actually published this post I popped over to Scandinavian Photo and bought one of these lights. I think it is a nice little light to use as fill or for a car interior for example. The dimming feature is nice but one thing I miss is the ability to dial in different color temperatures.  I will post back what I think once I’ve actually used it in production a few times. Then I’ll really know what’s what especially when it comes to color and such… 🙂

Disclaimer: I Borrowed the light for the testing and bought one to keep. I have received no compensation in writing this article and all opinions are my own.

Our little F3

So a few months ago we got our Sony F3.  A small body camera with a big Super 35 CMOS sensor. It has a full 10 bit  422 HDSDI out as well as the option of going fully uncompressed 10 bit 444 with S-log. My tests and shoots so far has really got me excited and I expect great things from this little camera.

The once small body of the Sony PMW-F3 is not so small any longer. Once you start adding on all the additional gear onto it, the weight adds up quickly.
This weekend we flew it on a Steadicam rig and it weighed as much as an Xdcam rig

Right now on ours we have the shoulder rig from Tilta, follow focus and matte box.

On top we have a cheese plate from Berkey. it is great cause it adds tons of attachment points for different accessories. Berkey System  We bought ours directly from them but Abel in New York is a great option.

On the plate hangs a TV-Logic 5 inch monitor as well as the Pix240 external recorder.  The plate has 2 camera attachment points which makes the plate really fit securely onto the F3.  There is full access to all controls and button

 

On the back we have a special V-lock plate with 4 hirose power connectors which allows us to power all the gadgets. It also has a PAG powertap.  All ports deliver whatever the battery does in this case between 12V-15,5V.

 

 

 

 

One more thing we are waiting for is the Pro ViewFinder kit which will allow us to use a proper HD view finder. This will allow us to take i.e the HDVF-20A viewfinder from our XDCam 700 and use it on the F3.  Right now we are only using the 5inch monitor for framing and focus and outdoors this can be a challange, to this option will be really nice.

There will be lots more written on this blog about the F3. We also own 2 XDCam cameras but this camera opens up a whole new client base for us in a very exciting way. So stay tuned for more F3 posts… 🙂

 

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