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Posts by Ian McCausland

The Sachtler FSB 10 is the latest addition to their FSB line. This fluid head features a 100mm ball mount, allowing the head to be used on a wide variety of tripod options from Sachtler. Although the head is compact, it will handle camera payloads of eight to twenty-six pounds. Sachtler offers the FSB 10 model and the “T” model; the T stands for Touch & Go. This model is the traditional style of quick release plate that has been a part of Sachtler design for years. The FSB 10 incorporates a sideload plate, which acts as a sliding balance plate. This is a great option when changing lenses and having to recenter the camera to the head. Additionally, the head features an illuminated bubble level and ten counterbalance settings. Watch my video above to get a more detailed look at the FSB 10.

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In my latest video, I talk about the new Beachtek DXA-ALEXA for the ALEXA Mini. As you may know, audio input to the ALEXA Mini is via a Mini 5-pin connector on the front housing, while audio into the camera is line level only. This presents operators with a challenge getting their mic level signals into the camera. The Beachtek DXA-ALEXA converts mic level signals to line level for recording audio direct to the C-Fast cards used by the ALEXA Mini.

The Beachtek DXA-ALEXA is a preamp that supports powered mics, as well as those requiring phantom 48 power. The unit supports channels of audio input via XLR 3 connectors with independent gain switches. Tracks can be recorded separately or as a mix. Each channel input adjustment knob has a detent, so range of adjustment can be made by feel if or when line of sight is not possible. Each channel has a diode for record level that is color coded, and levels can be quickly and easily evaluated for record level.

The kit for the ALEXA Mini comes with the preamp and mounting bracket; cables are ordered separately as the preamp will work with other cameras, such as RED. In my video above, I go through what is included in the kit, set up, and usage, as well as a microphone test.

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Panasonic’s VariCam cameras are capable of capturing a wide dynamic range. In order to do this, Panasonic has their own Log recording codec, V-Log. V-Log is a gamma response designed to capture the full dynamic range off the sensor. If you are familiar with Log, you know that what you see in Log is not like anything you see in the finished product. Therefore, we need tools in the camera to expose Log properly. Thankfully, Panasonic has included several ways to evaluate exposure in the VariCam. In this blog, I will show you the tools to get great results from the VariCam.

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Topics Audio, Featured

Quality audio is a must on any shoot, and Sennheiser offers professional audio solutions at an affordable price. In this blog, I take a look at two solutions using the Canon C300 MK II as a point of reference for shooting with a compact camcorder.

The MKE 600 mic is an all-around workhorse that can migrate from camcorder to DSLR. It can be powered by an AA battery or with Phantom power supplied from the camera, which makes it a great option for high-quality audio on a budget.

The ME 64 series microphone has optional power solutions and the convenience of exchangeable mics know as capsules. These capsules are attached to the power supply to complete the unit. The higher the capsule number, the more directional the pickup will be. You also have a choice of Phantom or battery power supplies. In my video above, I show more about these audio options and then catch some live sound to hear the quality of the mics.

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Imagine Products has released version 6 of their ShotPut Pro software. Those of us familiar with ShotPut know that it is one of the most important tools in modern digital imaging. ShotPut ensures that the content of media cards is safely offloaded to your destination drives. It upholds the first commandment of media offloading: Thou Shall NOT Drag And Drop.

In this blog I take you through the major updates of the program, including a selectable user interface. It is now possible to offload only selected clips – prior versions only let you offload the entire contents of a card. The offload process can now be paused and resumed. Another new feature of this version is that PDF reports are possible, complete with frame grabs.

Watch my video above to learn more. You can also check out my preview of ShotPut Pro 6 from Cine Gear.

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The ARRI SMB-2 is an extremely flexible 4” x 5.65” studio mattebox. In this blog, I’ll take you through some of the key features of the product, giving an in-depth look at how to assemble and configure the mattebox. With the SMB-2, ARRI has designed a hugely customizable platform, easily convertible for a variety of shooting environments. Features like the option for anamorphic conversion, a tilt mechanism, and geared filter stages make this an excellent choice for any production. Be sure to check out the video above for the detailed breakdown of the ARRI SMB-2.

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DP Logan Schneider stopped by our Cine Gear booth this year with a couple of new items that will be sure to please ACs.

First, we checked out his filter tray that holds a 138mm close-up filter. This tray was born out of Logan’s desire to get closer focus on a lens without having to tape the filter to the front of it. The tray takes up the same space as two filter stages, and boasts quick and easy installation.

Logan also showed us a bracket to hold the Preston MDR, which is the brains of the Preston Wireless Focus system. As cameras get smaller, having a place to secure the MDR can be a challenge; however, this bracket locates itself between the camera and the on-board battery. Taking the MDR on and off is as fast as taking a battery on and off, plus the added weight on the back also helps to balance the payload of the camera. The bracket is available for both the MDR2 (Anton Bauer/V-Lock) and MDR3 (Anton Bauer/V-Lock).

Watch the video above to see these new accessories in action!

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