As the year officially draws to a close, it’s time for our annual round-up of the most popular CineTechnica blog posts over the last 12 months. It’s been a busy 2016, and as usual a wide range of topics was represented – including new product announcements, comparison charts, workflow how-tos, custom scene files, and more.
Our Top 15 blogs are listed below in no particular order. Make sure to check them out, and let us know in the comments what you’d like to see us cover in 2017!
The ARRI SkyPanel is an LED soft light that is packed with features. The SkyPanel comes in two different configurations and three sizes. In this blog, I will take a closer look at the S-60C model. C-model SkyPanels have adjustable color temperatures from 2,800K – 10,000K. In addition, the units have what ARRI describes as Vibrant Color Selection. This means that color hue and saturation can be adjusted. The light can also be programmed to display the color quality of both Lee and Rosco color gels.
…continue reading At the Bench: ARRI SkyPanel S60-C
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.
The Litepanels Astra 1×1 Panel lineup now consists of eight models, with the latest being the Astra 1×1 Soft Bi-Color LED Panel that was announced at NAB 2016. The Astra 1×1 family is known as being extremely portable, which DPs know means faster lighting setups and potentially more scenes completed in one day. They are also extremely flexible due to their bi-color settings, battery options, and light modifiers.
With all of these models having specific applications, I wanted to take a closer look at two of them – the Astra 1×1 Bi-Color and the Astra 1×1 Soft Bi-Color – to see how they worked as a pair. I chose to focus on these two as the Astra 1×1 Bi-Color has the strongest output, and the Astra 1×1 Soft Bi-Color is the newest and softest source. I wanted to see if they complimented each other in a kit for multiple shooting applications and environments, so I put them to the test.
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.
Canon recently announced the new C700 camera, as well as the DP-V2420 4K reference display. We had our hands on an early prototype of the camera back in September, but the camera wasn’t production ready just yet. Now Canon has the camera ready to roll, and we had some more time with it for testing.
The C700 is a fully featured cinema camera, with all the features of the C300 Mark II and beyond. Some of the most exciting feature include a 4.5K sensor with 14+ stops of dynamic range, raw output and Codex integration, a simplified ‘cinema’ style interface, ProRes and XF-AVC internal recording, plus a shoulder mounted design perfect for both cinema and run & gun work. Watch the video above to learn more about the C700. I give a tour of both the camera and the great new interface.
…continue reading At the Bench: A Look at the Canon C700 and DP-V2420 Monitor
Litepanels’ Astra series is designed with premium quality, high CRI, surface-mount LEDs, which are paired with custom designed TIR (total internal reflection) optics. The design follows the one square foot form factor of many popular Litepanels models. Now, with the introduction of the Astra Soft Bi-Color LED panel, the Astra line offers a diffused lens with a soft light alternative, which replicates the effect of a softbox. The Astra line is compact, portable, and powerful.
Check out our new chart, above, for an overview of the key technical specs for each model. These specifications also translate into differences in production workflow, all of which need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right Astra for your project.
Click the image above to view a larger version of the chart, or download the pdf.