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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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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

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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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Most cinema cameras today can work with lenses designed for cinema use, as well as those designed for still photography, but there are still important differences between these lenses. I teamed up with Snehal Patel from Zeiss to answer the question “what makes a lens a cinema lens”? In the video, we cover the wide range of Zeiss Cinema Lenses, which feature interchangeable shimmable mounts that allow them to work with just about every camera. We also demonstrate how to shim a lens and what that means. Zeiss cinema lenses also have full frame coverage, and we give a demonstration of what that means as well. Finally we discuss what make a lens a ‘super speed’ lens and what that looks like.

Watch the video above to learn all about Zeiss Cinema Lenses or jump to a specific topic using the links below.

…continue reading At the Bench: An Inside Look at Zeiss Cinema Lenses

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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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Topics Arri, Featured

ARRI has now started shipping the ALEXA SXT camera, and we were lucky enough to have one in house for a short time. The ALEXA SXT is the latest evolution of the ALEXA camera line, with several new features and the horsepower of the ALEXA 65 camera. The SXT has a Swiss Army knife of recording options, giving you many ProRes and raw formats, and a wide variety of frame sizes to support anamorphic and aspherical acquisition. All of these can be recorded to the new Codex SXR capture drives, which give the highest frame rate options. Other recording options include CFast 2.0, SxS, or the ALEXA XT’s Codex capture drive with an adapter.

The camera now has the same powerful look management features found in the AMIRA and ALEXA Mini. It takes this concept further with four independently addressable outputs and remote color grading options via Pomfort LiveGrade or other applications. Any color adjustments performed on set can be saved as metadata to the camera clips. These can be easily applied directly from the clips in most NLEs and color grading applications. The SXT also has some image processing improvements and noise reduction options, and with the ALEXA 65 hardware inside, there are many possibilities for future improvements via firmware updates. Check out the video above to learn more.

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