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IBC 2014 video: Zacuto show working Control Grip and Gratical EVF, plus Recoil system gets improved design

By site editor Dan Chung:

Zacuto have been busy since we saw them at the NAB show earlier this year. For the first time we got to see a working Control Grip in the flesh. This is an ergonomic handgrip that links to a Zacuto servo motor for control of zoom. The grip has built in start/stop triggering but also a jog shuttle that allows menu access for compatible cameras like the Canon C300, 100 and 500. It runs from a single Canon LPE-6 type battery.

Also on show was a near ready for production Gratical EVF. This is a lovely OLED-based EVF with 1024 x 1280 resolution. The EVF has a range of features such as the ability to apply LUTs to the image and also inputs and outputs HDMI and 3G-SDI.

Lastly, the Zacuto Recoil shoulder rig system has had an overhaul and some nice revisions. Based on the idea that with the same basic components and a few accessories, you can transform almost any popular video camera or DSLR into a comfortable, balanced shoulder rig.

The VCT shoulder pad/baseplate has been refined and is now lighter and more comfortable than before. There is a new top handle that can have an EVF or arm easily mounted to the front of it via a 15mm rod clamp. The improvements when taken together make one of, if not the best, shoulder mounted system out there for prolonged shooting off the shoulder with cameras like the C300 and F5.

For more info check out www.zacuto.com

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Posted on September 15th, 2014 by Dan Chung | Category: Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

IBC 2014 video: Vocas show innovative follow focus designed for better handheld shooting

By contributor Clinton Harn:

The best products are often so seemingly simple that you wonder why no one ever thought of them before. That is certainly the case with the new Vocas MFC 2S follow focus. It solves one of the more annoying issues when trying to use a follow focus when shooting handheld – how do you keep you rig stable while rotating the focus wheel? The Vocas solution is simple. They have added a wooden palm rest onto the follow focus itself. You brace the camera via the rest with your palm and use your fingers to focus.

Vocas say the design process incorporated feedback from professional users. The other options in this modular system include interchangeable controls and reversible gears and handles.

For real world shooters that want to use a manual follow focus on a shoulder rig this is certainly worth a look alongside the Zacuto Tornado.

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Posted on September 13th, 2014 by Clinton Harn | Category: Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

IBC 2014: Wooden camera show new directors monitor and external recorder solutions

By contributor Clinton Harn:

Ryan from Wooden camera was at IBC showing a new directors monitor solution that adds side handgrips and mounting options for popular LCD panels. They also had a new articulated bracket for external recorders that mounts to rods at the rear of a rig.

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Posted on September 12th, 2014 by Clinton Harn | Category: Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

BIRTV 2014 video: Vocas show Sony a7S solutions – new lightweight grips and full rig options. Also USBP baseplate for larger cams

By contributor Clinton Harn and editor Dan Chung:

At the BIRTV show in Beijing Vocas were showing some new products that they will be officially unveiling at the IBC show in Amsterdam this week.

First up are a some simple lightweight handle options for the Sony a7S. These have a custom a7S baseplate that fits beautifully to the bottom of the camera. You then add leather handgrips that can be rotated into different positions.

Andre from Vocas gets a good grip on the Sony a7S

Andre from Vocas gets a good grip on the Sony a7S

For larger a7S setups Vocas have assembled a rig that allows for the use of PL mounted cine lenses, while still allowing the camera to be quickly detached if you want to just grab some quick shots with a different lens. This is quite an interesting solution that could work well for indie production. My only concern is that like many other rigs it put a lot of weight out in front of the operator and so really needs more counterweight for longer periods of shooting.

Lastly Vocas had the new Universal Shoulder Base Plate – a combined shoulder pad and rod riser that can accommodate larger cameras. Thanks to its unique design it can also be used with a Red Epic or Scarlet and still get the correct spacing for the 15mm rods to use a matte box.

You can find out more on the Vocas website or in person at their booth at the IBC show.

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Posted on September 9th, 2014 by Clinton Harn | Category: Camera support systems, Red, Sony a7S | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kickstarter project aims to dolly on a different path: The ProZoom WiFI controller and Long Boa

By site editor Dan Chung:

A new Kickstarter has just been launched that aims to give filmmakers the ability to make some pretty crazy motorised dolly moves – all controlled by you tablet device.

The Pro Zoom controller

The Pro Zoom controller

The centre of the system is the ProZoom Wifi controller which can run both regular and time lapse moves. The controller can be connected to a tablet and offers remote control without any wires.

The ProZoom Wifi controller then links to a motor unit on the Long Boa flexible dolly track system. The flexible dolly uses roll up rubber tracks are certainly easier to travel with than conventional rails and is similar to other flexible track on the market – but this is the first time I have seen one that is motorised. This allows for all kinds of curved and straight moves of up to 10m to be made. Another advantage is that the roll up rubber tracks are easier to travel with than conventional rails.

The system can run on batteries and the the motorised dolly can move up to 10KG of weight – fine for most smaller camera and tripod combinations. If you want to motor larger cinema cameras with big tripods you are out of luck with this version. I’d also like to know just how loud the motor is – hopefully it will be quiet enough to be used for interviews in quieter locations.

The ProZoom can also be mounted to a more conventional slider/mini dolly combo called the Mini Camel Pro. This has a belt system which can be connected to the controller.

The Mini Camel slider

The Mini Camel Pro slider

You can find out more on their Kickstarter page. As with all Kickstarter projects please be aware that your pledge does not guarantee delivery of the finished product.

Thanks to Film Cyfrowy for the heads-up on this story.

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Posted on September 9th, 2014 by Dan Chung | Category: Camera support systems, Timelapse | Permalink | Comments (0)

BIRTV 2014 video: Ikan’s Kan Yeung shows new PD Movie BMD Armor rig for BMCC

By contributor Clinton Harn:

Chinese company PD Movie have a new all-in-one handheld rig for the Blackmagic Design BMCC and BMPC 4K. The BMD Armor has two handles with dual thumb wheel controls for motorised zoom and focus, along with a start/stop trigger and an integrated battery to bolster the otherwise short battery life of those cameras. It looks a bit like a brushless gimbal, but don’t get confused, it does not have any form of stabilisation.

Ikan is the US distributor for PD Movie and Kan Yeung was on hand at BIRTV to give us a run through of the new product.

The rig is a reasonable weight, but because it is designed to be held out in front of the operator it will require strong biceps, or a some additional support like an EasyRig.

bmd-ARMOR

The BMD Armor rig can also be reconfigured for use on a tripod, with the handles relocated to a position more suitable for traditional live events and outside broadcast.

The controls on the display model I played with were a little sensitive and I found it hard to get accurate focus. Hopefully this is something that will be fine tuned before the unit goes on sale.

Price is not yet confirmed but is expected to be around the $2500 US mark. Keep an eye on the Ikan website in the coming months for more details.

Shot by CY Xu.

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Posted on September 7th, 2014 by Clinton Harn | Category: Blackmagic design, Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kinogrip’s new Grenoble wooden handgrip – a classic reimagined

By site editor Dan Chung:

The Grenoble grip with trigger option

The Grenoble grip with trigger option

Wooden handgrips are the speciality of Ray Thomas. His KinoGgrips have become popular with shooters looking for some old style grip action for their modern large sensor cameras. He has made several versions of the grips and also does customised versions specific to customers needs.

His latest grip draws its inspiration from the original Aaton handgrip from days of old. Older DPs and cameramen often talk with affection about how stable and comfortable the wooden grips on Super16 Aaton film cameras were.

The Grenoble grip is named after the french town where Aaton are based. The most obvious design characteristic is the thick, rounded thumb hook similar to the Aaton design. Also similar to the Aaton original is the optional start/stop trigger button on the top of the grip – right under the thumb.

The design harks back to an earlier era

The design harks back to an earlier era

The trigger connects via a 3.5mmm jack to a custom cable available for a range of different cameras. These include Canon 5D mkIII/1DC, Sony F5/F55, Panasonic GH cameras and also cameras that trigger using a standard LANC connection.

The grip attaches to cameras and rigs via an ARRI standard rosette and are right-handed by default (left-handed grips can also be custom ordered).

Prices for the Grenoble start at $299 for the non-trigger version and go up to $499 for one with a trigger and cable.

The previous Tuscon grip remains available for shooters who prefer a trigger bottom on the front of the grip. Also available are KinoBalls – an inexpensive wooden ball grip designed to give extra stability to the left hand side of the camera. Fitted with an ARRI rosette the KinoBall also makes it easier to set the camera down when you have a KinoGrip mounted.

The Tuscon grip with KinoBall

The Tuscon grip with KinoBall

Choice of handgrip is very much a matter of taste for shooters, but I am sure that the Grenoble will prove popular. A range of different wood finishes are available and you can always ask for a custom one to your own specification.

For more info head over to www.kinogrip.com

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Posted on September 5th, 2014 by Dan Chung | Category: Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

BIRTV 2014 video: Inexpensive wooden handgrips and a BMPCC rig from Sunrise

By site editor Dan Chung:

At BIRTV last weekend in Beijing Chinese accessory maker Sunrise were showing a selection of inexpensive wooden handgrips in different configurations as well as a new cage for the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera.

The wooden handgrips are considerable less expensive than previous ones I’ve seen from mainstream manufacturers. They seem well finished but not as comfortable in my hands as my current Vocas handle (although that one is several times the cost). There are a variety of mounting options for 15 and 19mm rods that utilise an ARRI style rosette for adjustment of angle.

The main drawback for many users will be the lack of any kind of camera trigger on the grip. Even so I expect budget conscious shooters might still be interested as the expected retail price for the 15mm rod mounted version is around $200 US.

The Pocket camera cage was very similar to other models we have seen except that the 15mm rod adapter was directly under the camera, not set at the correct height for a regular mattebox. Larger lenses might struggle to fit without some kind of riser being fitted.

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Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Dan Chung | Category: Blackmagic design, Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

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