By contributor Clinton Harn:
Wireless follow focus used to be strictly for cinematographers working on high end productions – especially for Steadicam, brushless gimbal, dolly, jib or handheld shots. More recently there have been several less expensive systems coming onto the market coinciding with the boom in brushless gimbal use.
Still officially in prototype form, Tilta’s wireless follow focus is one of the more promising ones. With prices projected to start at around the $5000 US mark it isn’t the cheapest unit, but it does offer control of up to three motors for focus, iris and zoom and has a very nice level of fit and finish.
If this isn’t enough to tempt serious shooters there is one other unique trick that will especially interest broadcast users. The wireless follow focus controller transforms into two separate wired controllers that mount to the pan handles of your pro tripod – essentially turning them into zoom and focus demands that are commonly used for live outside broadcast and sporting events. If you use these regularly then you’ll know they aren’t cheap and that the Tilta unit is beginning to look quite reasonably priced.
Just how well this unit performs is still untested in the real world – we may have to wait a little while longer for the full production models to hit the shelves before we can test motor noise, range, latency and accuracy.