ChungMedia

Zacuto’s new lens support system with a twist – for Canon CN-E and Zeiss CP cine lenses

By site editor Dan Chung:

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Zacuto Lens Supports for Canon and Zeiss Lenses from Zacuto on Vimeo.

In the build-up to the NAB show there are plenty of new product announcements. The latest from Zacuto will interest users of Canon CN-E and Zeiss CP cine lenses. Their new custom lens support provides a solid mounting to rails that prevents the lens from twisting when used with a follow focus – this is particularly a problem with DSLRs and Canon EF mounted lenses, but can still be an issue with cameras like the C300. The new support differs from others available thanks to its ‘hook and foot’ system that allows for rapid changes while remaining very secure. This is one product that I want certainly want to check out for myself at NAB for my own CP2 lenses.

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Posted on March 20th, 2014 by Dan Chung | Category: Camera support systems, Lenses, Zeiss | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zacuto take a ‘first look’ at the Panasonic GH4: Steve Weiss teases Zacuto motorised zoom controller system

By site editor Dan Chung:

First Look at the Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Zacuto from Zacuto on Vimeo.

Our friends at Zacuto have been playing with the Panasonic Lumix GH4 and the accessory DMW-YAGH grip/HD-SDI expansion pack.

Notable observations include the increase in resolution of the rear LCD even though it is the same size at the GH3’s. The existing Z-finder for the GH3 will work but with the greater resolution it will offer a much improved image. They also go into detail about the features of the DMW-YAGH and also the different codec options the camera offers. The Panasonic rep was also keen to stress just how editable the internal 4K recordings are on less powerful computers.

The big news from the video isn’t actually from Panasonic at all. Steve Weiss teased a new servo motor control handgrip from Zacuto that works with a stills or cine lens. It will offer similar zoom control to a conventional ENG lens (or indeed the Fujinon Cabrio). It won’t be directly mounted to the lens like a Cabrio and so I imagine the grip needs a rig or at least rails to mount to a camera. Weiss said it will also offer menu controls, start-stop and magnification functions for various cameras. This is a product I have been wanting to see made for several years. The Handizoom, a previous product that also offered servo zoom with stills lenses, never came to market and so we look forward to seeing Zacuto’s product at NAB 2014.

The GH4 rigged on Zacuto's Marauder rig

The GH4 rigged on Zacuto’s Marauder rig

Posted on March 20th, 2014 by Dan Chung | Category: 4K, Camera support systems, Lenses, Panasonic GH4 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Video review: Swedish Chameleon SC4:Large rig

By Newsshooter contributor Li-Lian Ahlskog Hou:

Newsshooter.com review: Swedish Chameleon SC4 Large rig from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

As a Swedish documentary shooter based in China, I was fascinated when I was asked to review the Swedish Chameleon SC4:Large rig. Made by my fellow countrymen in Stockholm, these rigs have gained popularity on the Swedish production scene. I felt duty bound to check it out.

The design of the flagship SC4:Large is unique thanks to its weightless counterweight system. Comprising a back rod and waist-belt, it keeps the camera out in front of the operator while doing away with the need for heavy weights. This is a neat trick and it certainly means that you can operate for long stretches and remain comfortable. The ability to take both hands off the rig and have it just stay on your shoulder is certainly useful in run-and-gun situations. The drawback of the system is that it can take a while to assemble when you get to your location – you can’t just roll up and start shooting – but in my mind this is a small price to pay for saving your arms and back.

The SC4:Large kit

The SC4:Large kit

It can also be used without the back rod system as a more traditional rig and thanks to a clever dual dovetail system the camera and follow-focus system can be detached quickly from the rest of the rig and docked to a tripod instead. This is a great idea.

The camera mounting plate has been well thought-out and has a dual screw mount to prevent it coming loose or twisting from side-to-side.

The follow focus and camera mount dovetail of the SC4:Large in tripod mode

The follow focus and camera mount dovetail of the SC4:Large in tripod mode

The follow-focus system is based on a belt drive and is designed primarily with autofocus stills lenses in mind. It can be positioned in a way that allows you to focus while keeping your hand on the handgrip, unlike most other rigs that require you to let go (notable exceptions being Zacuto’s Tornado and Edelkrone’s Focusplus). The makers are certainly thinking about practicality here. The belt works well enough when properly tensioned on most stills lenses but I did find a tendency for lenses with looser mounts to pull a bit towards the follow focus if you over-tension it. Various different belts and gear sizes are available for different sized lenses.

The SC4:Large suits DSLRs and cameras like the Canon C100 very well. I didn’t get the opportunity to test it with anything larger though.

The SC4:Large with Canon C100 and Nikon D800

The SC4:Large with Canon C100 and Nikon D800

After a few months’ use I can say that this system really works especially well with a DSLR setup where you are using a LCD loupe like the Zacuto Z-Finder or LCDVF-e, or simply relying on the camera’s back screen. If you prefer a monitor or an EVF then the advantages of having the camera out in front of you are far less.

Would I buy this rig for myself? At the $2045 US price it has some serious competition from rigs like Zacuto’s Recoil/Tornado combo. I would need to try out other competing rigs first before committing to one, and I would always recommend that prospective buyers do the same. The Swedish Chameleon SC4:Large would certainly be on my shortlist though.

You can see more and buy the SC4:Large from the Swedish Chameleon website.

Additional camerawork by Jia Li and Seth Coleman.

Li-Lian Ahlskog Hou is a videographer from Sweden now based in Beijing. Previously working for a publication that investigates the Swedish Armed Forces, she now shoots documentaries, concerts and promotion videos. She is based in China. You can see more of her work at http://www.li-lian.com/

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Posted on January 26th, 2014 by Li-Lian Ahlskog | Category: Camera stabilsation systems, Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (2)

Clinton Harn and Matt Allard look at Movcam’s Blackmagic cages for Dragon Image

By site editor Dan Chung:

Movcam Cages for the Blackmagic Design Cinema & Pocket Cameras from Dragon Image on Vimeo.

It’s no secret that our technical editor Matt Allard is a fan of Movcam’s range of camera rigs and cages. He recently sat down with Clinton Harn at Australian dealer Dragon Image to look at Movcam’s cages for the Blackmagic’s BMCC and BMPCC.

The Newsshooter crew also recently took the Movcam BMPCC cages for a test drive during our coverage of Inter BEE in Japan. We had two BMPCCs in Movcam cages and they did an excellent job of turning the diminutive camera into a production tool.

The Newsshooter crew setting up their Movcam caged BMPCCs for Inter BEE

The Newsshooter crew setting up their Movcam caged BMPCCs for Inter BEE

Also worth checking out is this video from Dragon Image where Clinton and Jason Wingrove examine some of the other gear in the Movcam lineup:

MOVCAM systems for RED Cameras, Canon 1DC and more from Dragon Image on Vimeo.

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Posted on November 21st, 2013 by Dan Chung | Category: Blackmagic design, Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

IBC 2013: F&V Moves into Camera Support World with Introduction of New BMCC Cage

By @Jonah_Kessel:

IBC 2013: F&V Movies into Camera Support World with Introduction of New BMCC Cage from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

LED lighting specialist F&V has jumped into the camera support world with their first product being a cage for the Black Magic Design Cinema Camera. The lightweight but durable aluminum cage can be used with an attratice wooden handle and has a variety of mounting points surrounding the camera.

The full kit for the BMCC sells for 439 euro. On display as well at IBC was prototype shoulder systems for a variety of cameras.

Find more about F&V here at their web site.

Video shot and edited by Li-Lian Ahlskog, Jonah Kessel and Scott Karlins.

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Posted on September 17th, 2013 by Jonah Kessel | Category: Blackmagic design, Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

IBC 2013: Vocas Universal baseplates and shotgun microphone mount solution for rig mounted cameras

By technical editor Matt Allard:

IBC 2013: Vocas microphone mount solution for Sony F5/F55 from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Vocas have shown a simple yet clever mounting solution for on-board microphones attached to a rig. The lack of options for mounting on-board microphones on these cameras has been problematic for shooters like myself. The mount was shown on a Sony F5/F55 configuration but can be adapted to a wide variety of cameras.

Vocas also displayed their new universal baseplate that we first saw as prototype versions in Beijing at the BIRTV show. The finished version allows a wide variety of cameras to be used on the same baseplate. Check out the video below to see more options:

Vocas Shoulder Base Plate for Sony PMW-F5 & F55 from Vocas on Vimeo.

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Posted on September 16th, 2013 by Matthew Allard | Category: Camera support systems, IBC show | Permalink | Comments (0)

IBC 2013: Zacuto quick release tripod plate system

By site editor Dan Chung:

IBC 2013: Zacuto quick release tripod plate from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Newsshooter.com site editor Dan Chung talks to Zacuto about their new quick release tripod plate that integrates with their Recoil system.

Shot by Clinton Harn.

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Posted on September 15th, 2013 by Dan Chung | Category: Camera support systems, Tripods and monopods | Permalink | Comments (0)

IBC 2013: Zacuto Z-drive, EVF mount and cage complete the Recoil system

By technical editor Matt Allard:

IBC 2013: Zacuto Z-drive, EVF mount and cage complete Recoil system from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Zacuto were showing some refinements to their Recoil shoulder mount systems at IBC this week. We had seen the prototypes at NAB in April, but now most of the system is actually shipping. I think adding controls to both hands when using a grip relocator with the new Z-drive and Tornado combination is one of the best ways to handhold cameras like the Canon C100 and C300.

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Posted on September 15th, 2013 by Matthew Allard | Category: Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

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