Teradek Ace 800

The Teradek Ace 800 is being touted as an affordable, zero-delay, HD wireless video system with a range of up to 800 ft. Teradek says that it is designed with the same reliability and performance as the Teradek Bolt line. It looks to me as the Ace 800 is almost a bridge between the Ace … Continued

The post Teradek Ace 800 appeared first on Newsshooter.

If Somebody Doesn’t Like Your Portrait of Them, Is It Always the Photographer’s Fault?

If Somebody Doesn’t Like Your Portrait of Them, Is It Always the Photographer’s Fault?

Most people don’t like their photograph taken. So if, as a photographer, you’ve taken an image of someone and they don’t like it, is it your fault?

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Is AFM A Waste of Time and Money?

Hopefully, this article doesn’t cost me my career.

Before we start, some background on me: my name is Evan Littman, and my company, GetMade, consults for a variety of entertainment entities. Every year, I attend the three major markets (Berlin, Cannes, and the American Film Market), where I evaluate films and film packages for my clients to acquire. These are films you’ve heard of, or will hear of (here’s an example).

The American Film Market (AFM) takes place in Santa Monica every year in early November. It just wrapped up this week, so I wanted to take a minute and share some of my observations from the ground floor. More specifically, I want to talk about what AFM is, what it isn’t, how it’s changing, and how you should think about it as an aspiring filmmaker.

To answer the question in the headline, and to legally cover my ass, I should say that AFM is not a scam. But I do believe AFM engages in exploitative marketing practices, specifically targeted at aspiring filmmakers.

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Portraits of the Wildest Creations at the 2019 Beard and Moustache Championships

As he does every year around this time, Las Vegas-based photographer Greg Anderson recently packed up his gear and travelled to the National Beard and Mustache Championships to capture some of the most entertaining portraits we get to see each year.

This year’s Nationals were held at 350 Brewing in Tinley Park, Illinois, and while we didn’t see anything quite as wild as the “Incredibeard” winner of the 2017 World Chamionships, the entries definitely didn’t disappoint.

From star-shaped creations to geometric patterns and beyond, scroll down to see some of our favorite portraits from the annual event:

If you enjoyed these, click here to see all of this year’s portraits or visit the NBMC website. And if you want to see more of Anderson’s work, you can find him on his website, Facebook and Instagram.


Image credits: All portraits by Greg Anderson and used with permission.

Rugged, Versatile Storage: Fstoppers Reviews the Gnarbox 2.0 SSD

Rugged, Versatile Storage: Fstoppers Reviews the Gnarbox 2.0 SSD

Photographers and videographers are working on the go and traveling more and more, and their needs for advanced data storage devices are growing. The Gnarbox 2.0 SSD seeks to fill those needs while housing those capabilities in a rugged device made to stand up to the elements. Check out our review of this powerful device.

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This Influencer-Inspired End Table Doubles as a Lightbox for Photography

This quirky concept creation may be the perfect piece of furniture for the Instagram influencer or Etsy seller in your life. It’s called the Photo Table, and it’s a half-end table half-lightbox that was “designed for public influencers.”

The Photo Table—which just took home a Red Dot Design Award in the Furniture category—was designed by South Korean company Zinus Inc., and the concept is pretty self explanatory: it’s a lightbox that was designed to “blend in beautifully with any living space, while serving as a tool to make pictures more.”

From the concept’s description:

Photo Table is furniture designed for public influencers, allowing their everyday moments to be captured and presented in a unique way.

[…]

Designed to function as a photo box, several features are important. The LED light on top illuminates the object. The walls of the frame are composed of semi-transparent PET to capture various angles. Additionally, the curved white background facilitates hiding of outlines, allowing the object to stand out. The background itself is also interchangeable.

In our humble opinion, it looks like a standard light box… with legs. But you have to give the designers points for originality. It seems the age of the social media influencer is even ‘influencing’ the kind of furniture we design.

(via Yanko Design)

Star Wars Has a Director for Their 2022 Movie… But Who?

There’s supposedly a new Star Wars director coming soon, but is it a name we already know?

The Star Wars saga that started in 1977 is about to complete its story with J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in December, and fans want to know what is the next chapter in a new Star Wars trilogy.

We also want the chance to scrutinize and pick apart any director Lucasfilm announces to be heading to a galaxy far, far away. And It looks like Lucasffilm President Kathleen Kennedy has a director in mind.

THR reports that Disney and Lucasfilm have a director lined up to helm their 2022 movie — and it is not Rian Johnson. But Lucasfilm is waiting until January 2021 to announce who that filmmaker will be. (Not so coincidentally, Kennedy’s contract with Lucasfilm is up in 2021. Whether she will still be in the job, or transitioning to an EP role and handing over the day-to-day of the company to someone else, remains to be seen.)

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FiLMiC launches Firstlight, a stills camera app with Raw capture, live analytics and more

FiLMiC, the company best known for its FiLMiC Pro video camera app with features for professionals, has branched in the still photography market with the launch of Firstlight. With FiLMiC Firstlight, iPhone owners get access to more features than offered on the stock camera app, including support for TIF and DNG Raw formats, anamorphic adapter support, the ability to embed copyright info and more.

FiLMiC announced the availability of Firstlight v1.0 on November 12. The company has included the live analytics feature from FiLMiC Pro in its new still photography app, as well as adaptive film grain, custom film simulations, an RGB Histogram, an Auto Exposure (AE) mode, tap/swipe-based focus and exposure controls, a lens selector and vignette.

FiLMiC boasts a number of ‘professional camera tools,’ including grid overlays, a burst mode, flash and timer, expanded shadow details, the ability to select either HEIC or JPG formats, multiple aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9, 3:2, 1:1, 5:4), HDR controls on the latest iPhone models, and Bluetooth support for ‘most’ camera shutter remote controls.

In addition to the free version of the app, FiLMiC gives users the option of paying for access to premium features, making it possible to configure the burst mode, adjust the vignette, apply film grain, use an anamorphic adapter, use a custom function button, configure the exposure and focus controls, and more.

The app is free to download from the iOS App Store now. The premium features can be unlocked via either a $0.99 monthly subscription or a $7.99 annual subscription.

Ever Wondered How Photography Studios are Built?

Ever Wondered How Photography Studios are Built?

I love going through Pinterest and looking at all of the beautiful photography studios. Broncolor lights, clean lines, tripods that could support a small car, but in this video I go through the realities of making your own studio space.

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Sigma rumored to be ‘actively working on’ RF-mount lens road map for 2020 announcement

According to a report from Canon Rumors, Sigma is ‘actively working on an RF-mount lens roadmap’ and is expected to announce its plans sometime in ‘early 2020.’

Canon Rumors’ report, which comes from an unnamed source, goes on to say that distributors have received early information regarding Sigma’s plans, but no specific information regarding potential lenses or launch dates was divulged.

Canon Rumors only ranked this rumor a ‘[CR2]’ (with [CR1] being very unlikely to happen and [CR5] being most likely to happen), so it’s worth taking with a grain of salt. Still though, Canon Rumors suspects the announcement would be made ahead of CP+ in February if it were to be made at all.

Sigma offers nearly all of its EF-mount Global Vision Lenses for Nikon’s F-mount as well, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if this purported lens roadmap from Sigma would also apply to Nikon’s Z-mount cameras too, considering the similarities in mount designs. However, much like the roadmap itself, this is purely speculation.

We have contacted Sigma for a comment and will update this article accordingly if we hear back.

How I Shot, Funded and Published a Photo Book from Start to Finish

Today marks one year to the day that my book went on sale. It’s a very personal project that means a huge amount to me. I wanted to write a post that not only reflects on the past year since the book became available, but also on the project itself. It took a huge amount of work to get to that stage in the first place.

The Birth of an Idea

I first came up with the concept for the book back in January 2018. The idea was to combine powerful portrait photography with storytelling to raise awareness of the impact cystic fibrosis has on the everyday life of patients. I wanted each subject to tell a unique story but I also wanted the combined project itself to tell a powerful story.

Shooting 47 portraits was crucial to the project. At the time, 47 was the mean average life expectancy of a person living with CF in the UK.

Challenge 1: How do you find 47 subjects?

Finding 47 subjects that not only have CF but are also happy for you to document their story in an intimate way is no easy task. My first thought was to approach the children’s CF clinic that my son attends as well as the nearby adult CF centre and ask if they might be able to hand out a letter to patients and parents explaining what I was doing and whether they might be interested in taking part.

You have to start somewhere right?

Using Facebook to build an audience

At the same time, I set up a Facebook page for the project. I added as much information about what I was trying to do and seeking people who might be willing to help. I posted a short video explaining a bit more about the project.

This was the point where things really started to gain traction. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust shared the video and the impact was… significant. Over the next few hours I had hundreds of messages from people wanting to be involved and it took me a few weeks to catch up on the backlog of emails.

Challenge 2: How do you photograph 47 subjects?

Planning 47 individual portrait shoots with subjects scattered all over the country takes some serious planning, especially when you have a full-time job. As the list of volunteers grew, I started to see trends and clusters of volunteers in areas I could travel to so I started to focus in on those areas. I had plenty of volunteers in and around my local Yorkshire area but I also started to focus in on the Lancashire area and around the Midlands.

Portrait #1 – Kyle

While starting to think about the logistics of potential road trips, I started to schedule in the first few shoots with some of the closer volunteers and on Sunday 11th February 2018 I shot portrait number 1, Kyle.

This was a huge landmark in the project. I knew I wanted all of the portraits to be consistent in terms of lighting and treatment so I was really nervous going into the first shoot about getting it right. After all, this was the marker that all the other portraits would follow. I was really pleased with how the shot came out and I shared it on the Facebook page to give potential volunteers a better idea of the kind of image I had in mind. At this point Kyle effectively became the face of the project.

Many months later my wife would say to Kyle that she was really fond of his portrait because she knew that it was the moment I believed the project could work. She’s exactly right…

From this moment on I was juggling going out to shoot local volunteers while continuing to have conversations, planning the road trips and creating the most impressive Trello board I’ve ever made to try and keep on top of everything!

Challenge 3: Don’t forget the end goal

At this point we’re still in February. It’s only a month or so since I came up with the idea of the project. I’m swamped with volunteers and emails, I’ve shot the first couple of portraits and I’m already nervously thinking about the logistics of the road trips to come. However, I already know that I want the final outcome to be a book.

I’ve never produced a book before so I’m also having to work out how to actually produce it. I have in mind I’ll probably aim to run some kind of Kickstarter campaign and I know that’ll require a lot of work.

Of course, in order to run a Kickstarter I’m going to need to know what my production costs are going to be so a month into the project I’m already reaching out to printers for samples and to get an idea on specifications and costs. Because I know how many portraits I’m going to be shooting, I can estimate how many pages I’m likely to have in the final book.

Reviewing paper samples in the early stages of the project

To be honest, at this point the book itself feels an awful long way away, but it’s already satisfying to hold a sample page in my hand. This is probably the first time the project has felt ‘real’.

Challenge 4: Keep people interested

By the end of February things were pretty crazy. The Facebook page was really gaining some traction, had passed 1k likes and was continuing to grow. I’d more or less firmed up the 47 subjects I was going to shoot (even if I hadn’t quite worked out how or when as yet) and I started to use Facebook as the key tool for keeping people updated on the project.

During the project I posted regular updates of shoots that had been scheduled and completed. The project supporters watched as the map slowly turned green.

There was an incredible growing audience of people who really felt like they cared about the project as much as I did. I started to post maps showing where I was visiting with markers for shoots I’d completed and shoots that were to come. Each time a new green marker appeared I was greeted with a surge of support that really helped to keep me moving forward.

It’s worth pointing out that this phase of the project was hard. I can’t thank those of you who kept sending positive thoughts enough.

Challenge 5: The road trips

Ah the road trips. Without doubt the most difficult part of this project. Due to risk of cross infection, patients with CF can’t meet face to face. I’d have to visit each person individually in their homes and clean my equipment between shoots.

I’d need to work out an efficient route to visit each person in the region to maximize the number of shoots and minimize the number of expensive nights in hotels away from my family. BUT I’d need to balance efficiency of travel with safeguarding my subjects. People with CF often grow bacteria in their lungs, which can be incredibly harmful to other people with the condition so I’d need to know the current state of health for each subject and factor into my planning to ensure I was visiting everyone in the correct order to safeguard their health and reduce risk of infection. It’s hard to stress how important, and how difficult, this was.

Drive, shoot, sleep, repeat…

After months of planning, I managed to visit everyone outside of Yorkshire during the course of three weekend road trips. I visited 10 people across the Liverpool/Lancashire area over the weekend of 23rd/24th June 2018. Over the 21st/22nd July I travelled towards Birmingham and around the Midlands to shoot another 12 subjects.

Both weekends had a brutal schedule which only afforded me about 15 minutes contingency and around 10 minutes to eat. Both weekends I stayed away from home in a hotel positioned ready for my first shoot the following morning. The evenings consisted of getting something to eat, backing up photos and audio from the day, and recharging batteries (both the equipment and my own!).

In addition to the two long weekend road trips, I arranged a final all day trip on 18 August back down to the Midlands and back up towards Leeds. Over the course of the three road trips I travelled nearly 1,000 miles on top of the 300-odd miles I covered in and around Yorkshire.

I’m going to be honest. This stage of the project was brutal. The only thing that really kept me going during this part of the project was watching the sea of pins on my map rapidly turning green. With every portrait I shot the project took a huge step towards completion.

Portrait #47 – Marc

I shot the very last portrait for the book at 5:15pm on Saturday 18th August. I remember it vividly. Marc was the last subject and we were sat in the middle of a huge hall in a leisure centre where he works. After squeezing into some pretty tight front rooms it was a comically large space to shoot in.

After traveling over 1,000 miles I shot Marc – The 47th and final portrait for the book.

The second I shot the last frame, I knew I was done and immediately felt slightly bereft. It was a really strange feeling to have finished and I spent the 2 hour drive back up the M1 trying to work out exactly how I felt about getting to this stage.

Challenge 6: The Kickstarter campaign

If you’ve read this far, you’ll be starting to understand that I’m quite an organized person, so it won’t come as a surprise to find out that I’d been working on the Kickstarter campaign for some time.

I knew that I wanted to launch the Kickstarter as soon as the last portrait had been taken. This gave me the month it took for the campaign to run to work on the processing, book design and typesetting. Assuming the campaign was successful I wanted to have everything in place to order the print run as soon as the Kickstarter ended.

Kickstarter doesn’t really like charities

It’s worth mentioning that Kickstarter’s rules state that ‘Projects can’t fundraise for charity’. My plan was to donate £5 to the CF Trust for every book sold so this slightly vague guideline concerned me.

Before launching the campaign I had a long conversation about this with their integrity team. I wanted to be completely transparent about my plans as I didn’t want to run the risk of the campaign gaining traction and then being pulled. It probably won’t surprise you to know that just in case we couldn’t reach an agreement I already had an IndieGoGo campaign prepared (Their terms are significantly less strict generally).

Eventually Kickstarter were happy as long as I was careful to state that I would personally donate £5 for each book sold as opposed to £5 from each book sold being donated to charity. Semantics…

We are go for launch…

On Tuesday 21st August 2018, just three days after I shot the last portrait, the Kickstarter campaign launched. (To be honest it was ready to launch the day before but I read somewhere that Tuesday’s are the best day to launch a campaign.)

The result?

When I finally launched the Kickstarter campaign I was confident I’d reach the target of £2,000. I’d built an engaged audience and I wasn’t raising funds to recover any of the time or costs involved in making the book. I just wanted to cover the cost of the first print run. Quite frankly, at this point I was printing the book either way, but a bit of help was certainly welcome.

What I didn’t expect was quite how quickly the target would be reached. Within 8 hours of the campaign launching we’d passed the goal and the project became the number 1 most popular photobook project on Kickstarter. It was incredible. By the time the campaign had ended on 20th September we’d hit 254% of the target.

The campaign became the number 1 most popular photobook project on Kickstarter.

Time to make a product…

Things got really exciting (and busy) at this point. While the campaign had been running I’d been going back through all the recorded audio (some 50-odd hours worth) and writing the text content for the book, designing the final page spreads and preparing the book artwork for print.

I finally sent the book off to print on 25th October. At this point a huge panic set in as I’d only proof read the book about a million times so I was worried I might have missed something.

Giving back. Childhood novelty cheque ambition fulfilled…

The main reason for this project was to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis and to raise funds for the CF Trust. So when the Kickstarter funds cleared it was a huge honour to be able to make the first donation from the copies sold via the Kickstarter rewards.

I also got to fulfill a lifetime ambition of handing over a jumbo oversized novelty cheque!

Reaching the end goal…

The 12th November 2018 marked two very special occasions. Firstly, I took delivery of the first batch of 300 books—an incredible feeling of achievement and the result of nearly a year of my life. Secondly, the 12th November 2018 marks the day I realized quite how large and heavy a delivery of 300 books actually is.

The first warning sign came when the artic lorry pulled into the street. The second warning sign came soon after when the driver revealed the giant pallet of books that was then lifted down on a crane. I don’t really know what I thought 300 books looked like but clearly I’d missed a trick somewhere in my meticulous planning.

It’s hard to explain quite how exciting opening the first box and flicking through the first copy of the book was. It was an incredible experience. A fairly obvious printing error throughout the book soon brought me down to earth though. It quickly became apparent that it affected quite a lot of the copies. Happy days! Cue a batch of reprints. Moment of triumph slightly diluted.

Fulfilling Kickstarter rewards

Two days after receiving the first batch of books from the printer I started sending out copies of the books and fine art prints that made up the Kickstarter rewards.

At this point I got pretty friendly with my local post office who even gave me my own sacks to drop batches of books off in. I felt like a slightly over-tired, out of season Santa.

Going on general sale

Which brings me back to today, the 19th of November. This time last year, having cleared the backlog of Kickstarter orders, the book finally went on sale.

Nearly a year of my life led to this. I’m a Web Developer by trade. I’ve been making digital ‘things’ for over 20 years. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to hold a tangible product in your hands and think “I made this.”

This was a labour of love. I shot the images, wrote the text, designed the artwork, chose the paper and finish and sourced the printers. I packed each book into an envelope with a handwritten postcard (which I also designed) and I took each one to the Post Office. To say I threw everything into this is an understatement.

Why isn’t the book available on Amazon?

My original plan was to sell the book on Amazon but to be frank, their commission meant that they’d receive nearly as much per book as I was donating to the CF Trust.

Clearly there’s a huge benefit to being available on Amazon but to me I couldn’t justify the cost. Good quality photo books are costly to produce and with the CF Donation the margin on these books is pretty low. I chose to go it alone, selling directly from my site.

The last 12 months…

I wanted to write this post not only to go into some of the detail of what goes into a product like this, but also to reflect on the first anniversary of the book going on sale. A lot has happened in the year that followed.

5 Star Reviews

The response to the book has been incredible. It’s had 5 star reviews and I’ve sent copies all over the world – to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, United States, Canada and all over Europe. As well as a legal deposit in the British Library, I also had requests to send copies of the book to Oxford University, Cambridge University, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin.

Live TV appearance

I got to go on live TV (gulp!) and speak about the book and about CF in general. It was exciting and terrifying in equal measure. Thankfully I had Matilda (Portrait #14) with me to hold my hand.

National press coverage

I also had some nice press coverage, including a feature in the national press, appearing in the Daily Express.

The brutal side of CF

Very sadly, we had to say goodbye to two of the people I was lucky enough to meet as part of this project.

Dave was taken from us just a few weeks after I shot his portrait. If you have a copy of the book you’ll see it’s dedicated to him. Unfortunately this year we also lost Luke. When I met Luke he was recovering from a lung transplant which he talks about in the book. CF is a cruel condition and while I only met Dave and Luke for a short time, I remember them both very fondly.

Breathe easy guys… 💛

A final thank you

Finally, to every one of you who supported this project, shared my posts, backed the Kickstarter, bought a book… thank you.

The book has raised nearly £2,000 for the CF Trust so far. The CF community have recently received the incredible news that the UK have finally done a deal to receive life changing drugs. This comes after 4 years of campaigning by the Trust and the wider community. The work they do is incredible and it’s been a huge honour to support their work.

Limited copies still available!

I’d love to hit that £2k mark. I have a limited number of books still available so if you’d like a copy these are still available to buy. When they’re gone, they’re gone…

Thanks for reading!


About the author: Simon Wiffen is a Leeds based photographer specializing in family, lifestyle, portrait and commercial photography. You can see more of his work by visiting his website or following him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This post was also published here.

Focusbug CINE RT Ultrasonic Rangefinder Tracking System – Focus Puller’s Best Friend

The Focusbug CINE RT is an ultrasonic rangefinder tracking system. It consists of a Base sensor, Handset control unit, High-bright LED display and ultrasonic Bug transmitter. All components communicate via 2.4 GHz low power RF bands with range up to 800’ (240m) line of sight. Thanks to its speed, the system can act as a reliable autofocus.

Focusbug CINE RT system. Image credit: cinema5D

Focusbug is a small company based in Canada. They developed an ultrasonic rangefinder tracking system called CINE RT. This system has been on the market for a while now, but Focusbug decided to expand to the Japanese market and they presented their system during Inter BEE 2019. Johnnie interviewed Laird Pierce from Focusbug during the show to know more about the CINE RT System.

Focusbug CINE RT System

The CINE RT System is a complete ultrasonic measuring ecosystem, designed and hand-built in Vancouver, Canada. It is comprised of four main components housed in CNC machined aluminum, Delrin and ABS with industry-standard connectors, spherical actuator buttons and low profile mounting hardware. When calibrated correctly, the system can function as a very reliable autofocus system – that can significantly help focus pullers nailing the focus in a complex and difficult shot.

Focusbug CINE RT system. Image credit: Focusbug

All components communicate on user-selectable 2.4 GHz low power RF bands for range of up to 800’ (240m) line of sight, while proprietary protocol settings allow several CINE RT systems to work in close proximity while avoiding crosstalk.

The first component is the low profile Ultrasonic base sensor which operates as both a rangefinder and receiver for tracking CINE RT Bug Transmitters while sending constant distance information to the Handset, High-Bright LED Display(s), Preston HU3 and Arri WCU-4 Handsets. The BASE mounts on the camera via several mounting options. It combines control systems, sensor array, RF systems and targeting laser in one compact unit.

The Handset control unit is a touchscreen hub to access live view display modes, operational tools, and user settings. It allows all adjustments to be made remotely without needing to be hands-on with the camera.  The Handset also doubles as a discrete tape measure allowing up to eight marks to be quickly collected, stored and edited without pulling a tape or sighting a laser.

The compact High-bright LED display relays distance data with 0.55″ (14mm) ultra-bright LED characters. Five levels of brightness provide visibility in all lighting conditions. They can be remotely chained to offer multiple readouts of the same source or to track two different targets simultaneously while in dual view.

The last component of the CINE RT system is the Ultrasonic bug transmitter. It is milled from rugged lightweight ABS, measures 1.6″ x 1.6″ x 0.4″ (4 x 4 x 1 cm) and weighs less than 0.7oz (20g). The “Bug” can be easily hidden and will transmit ultrasound through most fabrics with no RF emissions. They provide fast continuous distance information for focus pullers when placed on assistants, stand-ins or principal actors. The base sensor unit can track up to four Bug transmitters to distances of 120′ (36.5m) line of sight.

Price and Availability

The Focusbug CINE RT system is available now. The price for the “System package”, which includes the base sensor, hand unit, LED display, and one Bug transmitter, is around $8,800.

What do you think about the Focusbug CINE RT system? Do you use some kind of ultrasonic rangefinder tracking system? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

The post Focusbug CINE RT Ultrasonic Rangefinder Tracking System – Focus Puller’s Best Friend appeared first on cinema5D.

ZEAPON Micro 2 Slider – An Affordable Tiny Camera Slider

ZEAPON Tech, a Chinese company specializing in camera accessories, just released a new tiny camera slider: the ZEAPON Micro 2. This compact slider is only 33cm long, and it can carry cameras up to 8kg/17lbs, which is pretty impressive. Let’s take a closer look at it!

ZEAPON Micro 2 – Double the Distance

How many times did you leave your slider at home because it is too long, too heavy, or too cumbersome to bring with you? I think that the best slider (and pieces of equipment in general) is the one that you always carry with you.

ZEAPONMicro2_01

Image credit: ZEAPON

The ZEAPON Micro 2 is a manual slider that measures only 33cm long, but it gives you a slide action of 54cm, nearly twice the physical length of the device. Indeed, the rail moves as you push/pull the camera, which is very similar to Edelkrone sliders. Please note that the maximum travel is for when the ZEAPON Micro 2 is center-mounted on a tripod. For ground operation, the travel length is limited to 33cm: the physical length of the slider.

The rail of the ZEAPON Micro 2 is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, so it will not bend.

ZEAPONMicro2_02

Image credit: ZEAPON

The Carriage

The center part of the ZEAPON Micro 2 is where half of the magic happens. This center part is where you attach it to your tripod via a 3/8”-16 mounting hole. But this is also where the carriage is to mount your camera to the slider.

On top of that carriage that moves along the slider, there is a 1/4″-20 mounting screw (it also comes with a 1/4″-20 to 3/8″-16 adapter) to mount your camera or tripod head. Inside the carriage, there are 36 bearings for maximum fluidity.

ZEAPONMicro2_03

Image credit: ZEAPON

Also, there is a built-in “automatic dust scraper” inside the rail to make sure that the slider stays smooth as long as possible. It is the first time I have seen something this, and it is brilliant. According to ZEAPON, this feature “allows for smoother sliding by effectively scraping away all kinds of dust and grime without adding extra friction.”

ZEAPONMicro2_04

Image credit: ZEAPON

The central part of the slider also features a self-locking key to lock the carriage. These locks are especially useful when you need to move quickly on set and don’t want your camera to fly all over the place.

ZEAPONMicro2_05

Image credit: ZEAPON

Fluid Damping Technology

On the sides of the ZEAPON Micro 2 is where the other part of the magic happens. As you probably noticed, the carriage is attached to a rubber belt that goes all around the slider. But, on each end of the slider, there are fluid damping pulleys to smooth out your movements.

ZEAPONMicro2_06

Image credit: ZEAPON

This fluid dampening technology allows you to get smooth shots quickly. Unfortunately, you can’t adjust the tension of the drag dampening. In short, this is like a built-in flywheel, but it takes less space and less weight.

Talking about weight, the Micro 2 weighs only 1.1kg/2.2lbs, and it can take up to 8kg/17.6lbs. It means that you can mount anything on it from a mirrorless camera to a (lightweight) cinema camera.

ZEAPONMicro2_07

Image credit: ZEAPON

ZEAPON Easy Lock Low Profile Mount

The center base of the ZEAPON Micro 2 makes it nearly impossible to use it on the ground. To solve that problem, ZEAPON launched the Easy Lock low profile mount. This low profile mount attaches to the bottom of the Micro 2 via a 3/8″-16 screw creating a much larger baseplate.

ZEAPONMicro2_08

Image credit: ZEAPON

Under the Easy Lock low profile mount, there are four retractable legs with spikes. These legs deploy for shooting directly on the ground.

Pricing and Availability

The ZEAPON Micro 2 is available now and retails for $229.99/232.91€. Also, bundles are available with the Easy Lock low profile mount for $299.99/302.79€.

What do you think of the ZEAPON Micro 2? Do you think it is a good value for the price? What other portable sliders do you use? Let us know in the comments!

The post ZEAPON Micro 2 Slider – An Affordable Tiny Camera Slider appeared first on cinema5D.

Meet the New RØDE VideoMic NTG – Best of Both Worlds

RØDE just announced the latest addition to their lineup of on-camera microphones: The RØDE VideoMic NTG. Both terms sound somewhat familiar, VideoMic for small, on-the-go mics, NTG for RØDE’s professional line of shotgun microphones. Well, the new VideoMic NTG aims to unite both concepts in one sleek product.

VideoMic NTG

The new RØDE VideoMic NTG. (image credit: RØDE)

I personally own one of these tiny RØDE VideoMicro on-camera mics. Its performance is OK (in relation to its size) and I use it mostly for recording better scratch audio when deploying a gimbal. However, I just recently had to attach this mic to a smartphone and here I ran into issues: You need to adapt the TRS connector of the VideoMicro to a somewhat weirdly wired up TRRS plug so that the smartphone recognizes the mic as an audio input. I soldered that cable on my own but as you can imagine the result didn’t look very professional. If only I had this new RØDE VideoMic NTG handy, I wouldn’t have had this kind of problem, since it really solves many issues you might have with currently available on-camera mics. Plus it offers greatly improved audio performance, obviously.

RØDE VideoMic NTG

So what is special about this new microphone? As RØDE founder and Chairman Peter Freedman AM puts it:

It’s in the name. The VideoMic NTG is a hybrid microphone that brings the signature broadcast-quality sound of our NTG shotgun range to a compact, feature-packed VideoMic.

Since it bears NTG in its name, this new mic offers the same annular tube technology as the NTG5 shotgun microphone. According to RØDE, this design offers natural, uncoloured sound and high transparency. Along with the new mic, RØDE offers a new shock mount with cable management and sliding rail to balance the mic on the camera. The new shock mount is included when purchasing the VideoMic NTG.

RØDE VideoMic NTG

Image credit: RØDE

It features an auto-sensing 3.5mm output, so it works seamlessly with both, cameras and smartphones. No frankensteined (or purchased) TRS-TRRS adapter needed.

RØDE VideoMic NTG

Furthermore, it features a USB output for connecting the VideoMic NTG directly to a computer (or tablet). When using that USB output the freed-up 3.5mm port can be used to plug in a headphone for monitoring.

With both analog and digital outputs, it becomes very clear that this VideoMic NTG is more than just a microphone. It sports a build-in ADC (analog to digital converter), a variable gain control for everything from mic level to line level, a built-in preamp with a dB peak warning light and, in order to power all this, a 350mAh lithium-ion battery which lasts for 30+ hours.

Polar Pattern and Frequency Response

This is a classic supercardioid on-camera microphone, since it is meant to be used as a on-the-go shotgun mic. It uses the pressure gradient electret condenser principle to translate acoustic waves into electrical impulses.

RØDE VideoMic NTG

image credit: RØDE

Here’s a list of acoustic specifications:

  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz – 18kHz ±3 dB
  • Output Impedance: 10Ω
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 79 dBA
  • Dynamic Range: 105dB SPL (A-weighted, as per IEC651)
  • Equivalent Noise: 15dB SPL (A-weighted, as per IEC651)
  • Sensitivity: -26 dB re 1V/Pa (50mV @ 94dB SPL) ± 1dB @ 1kHz
  • Input SPL at 1% THD: 120dB SPL
  • High Pass Filter Frequency: 75Hz, 150Hz
RØDE VideoMic NTG

image credit: RØDE

And a list of general specifications:

  • Battery Life: 30+ hours
  • Battery Capacity: 350mAh
  • Output Connection: 3.5mm auto-sensing (TRS <-> TRRS), USB-C
  • Bit Depth: 24-bit
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz
  • Weight: 94g
  • Dimensions: 21.6mm (diameter), 171mm (length)
RØDE VideoMic NTG

image credit: RØDE

The VideoMic NTG offers an auto-on mode in which it will automatically power on once the host camera is switched on. That way, you don’t need to worry about battery life since the mic will also automatically power-off once you switch off the camera. battery life is 30+ hours and you can recharge it within 2 hours using the USB-C port.

The correct output level can be dialed in using the gain control on the rear of the microphone.

Pricing and Availability

At time of writing this article, there’s no intel about pricing, unfortunately. I’ll update this article once the information is available. Same goes for availability. UPDATE: The VideoMic NTG will cost $249 US and shipping should start very soon.

RØDE VideoMic NTG

image credit: RØDE

This new VideoMic NTG seems to be much more than just a microphone. Use it with a camera, or a smartphone, or a computer using USB. Your choice. All the built-in tech is here to help but you really don’t need to worry about it, it just works. 3.5mm auto-sensing, automatic power-switching, built-in preamp, headphone out when using USB-C, variable gain control, high-pass filter, built-in ADC. When reading this, it could be the description of a dedicated audio breakout box, but it’s just a microphone. Pretty neat, I’d say.

Link: RØDE website

What do you think? Could this be your next on-camera mic? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Meet the New RØDE VideoMic NTG – Best of Both Worlds appeared first on cinema5D.

The Ultimate Backup: Insurance for Photographers

The Ultimate Backup: Insurance for Photographers

The Oxford English Dictionary defines accident as “an unpleasant event that happens unexpectedly and causes injury or damage.” Accidents happen. It doesn’t matter how careful you are or how much common sense you have. That’s why they’re called accidents.

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Security firm warns Android camera vulnerability lets hackers spy on phone owners

Security analyst firm Checkmarx has detailed the discovery of an Android security issue that enables hackers to access a smartphone’s camera app, existing videos and images, audio from the microphone and location information pulled from EXIF data. Though the issue has been fixed on Google and Samsung phones, it remains in many camera apps from other vendors

The security researchers first analyzed the Google Camera app included on the Pixel smartphones. Upon discovering the security vulnerability, which involves ‘manipulating specific actions and intents,’ they found the same issue could be exploited in the Samsung Camera app included in its various smartphone models.

The vulnerability is extensive, according to the researchers. Hackers can access the camera app, use it to capture videos and photos even if the display is turned off or a call is in progress and access content saved to the phone. In addition to accessing the images, hackers could pull the location information from image metadata and use that to locate the handset’s owner.

The exploit introduces a number of privacy issues for users; attackers could use the video recording functionality to record a phone call, for example, and could retrieve sensitive images from the user’s phone for blackmail purposes.

According to Checkmarx, Google confirmed that the issue isn’t limited to the Pixel phones and that it is working with its Android partners ‘to coordinate disclosure.’ Both Google and Samsung released fixes for the security issue in their respective camera apps before Checkmarx published its report. It’s unclear how many phones from other vendors may still be vulnerable to the exploit, however.

Sigma is Working on a Canon RF Lens Roadmap for 2020: Report

Canon full-frame mirrorless fans rejoice. According to the most recent reports, third party lens maker Sigma is already working on an RF-mount lens roadmap, which they will reveal in “early 2020.”

The report comes to us from Canon Rumors, whose sources were able to confirm that “Sigma is actively working on an RF mount lens roadmap and will announce their plans sometime in early 2020.” CR’s sources were not willing to share what lenses would appear on this roadmap, but they did say that distributors have been given an early look at the plans.

This is great news for anybody who has bought into Canon’s full-frame mirrorless system—so far just the EOS R and the EOS RP—since the vast majority of RF-Mount lenses that Canon has released thus far, while excellent, are also extremely expensive. The EOS RP costs just $1,000 as of this writing, but you’ll drop three times that price to pick up the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS or the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM, and more than twice as much for the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM.

If Sigma can release an RF-Mount 24-70mm f/2.8 for the same rock-bottom $1,100 price tag as the recently announced Sony E- and Leica/Panasonic L-mount versions, Canon users would be hard-pressed to pass up those kinds of savings.

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For people that want to connect their cameras to their smartphones for control it can be a nasty bug ridden adventure. If you look at apps designed to connect for Nikon, Canon, and Sony cameras you’ll see reviews that go from faint praise to horrible.

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