At the end of the day, a teleprompter is a pellicle mirror reflecting scrolling text from one side, allowing you to shoot through it from the other to give the illusion that the on-camera talent isn't reading. It works well, and you can even build one yourself for a few dollars. But the first high-quality, well-designed prompter and inexpensive prompter I've seen (for use with tablets and smartphones) is called the PRomptBox. At $139 (B&H), it's not only inexpensive -- it's brilliant.
It's a much smaller and more tightly focused set of winners this year, along with what I hope will become the annual Elephant Award. I began with a quick recap of 2016, and then go on to each of our winners. Camera of the year? Panasonic GX85 [B&H|Amazon]. Lens of the Year? Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G-Master [B&H|Amazon]. Trend of the Year, Peeve of the Year, and then the Elephant Award to...the Native American Drone Pilots of Standing Rock, ND. Let me know what you think!
The Sony a6500 [B&H|Amazon] is a great camera, as it is essentially an a6300 with in-body image stabilization, a few ergonomic tweaks, a much bigger buffer, and an imperfect touch auto focus system. Here's my freaking half-hour review, with plenty of footage. I tell you which of the two -- along with the original a6000 -- you should buy.
We sit down with Juan to go over the whats and whys of the FS7 II, an update to the incredibly successful original, including a new E PZ 18-110mm f/4.0 lens that looks to be a much better match to the camera's capabilities than either the E PZ 18-105 or the FE PZ 28-135.
It was only a matter of time before Sigma went up-market to take on Canon and Zeiss in the cine lens space. With pricing just announced on their 18-35mm and 50-100mm zooms of around $4,000 a pop -- and a meaty, solid and precise 85mm T/1.5 in my hands for all of 90 seconds -- it seems clear to me that Canon and Zeiss should be worried.
I missed Photokina (I had to head home from Europe two weeks before Photokina began), but with announcements of Fuji's GFX 50S medium format digital camera, Panasonic's GH5 and Olympus' OM-D EM1 Mark II, there's no way I was going to miss PhotoPlus Expo in New York City hot on the heels of the German show for a chance to see and feel these puppies in the metal. Too bad ALL of them were still under glass. Still, with my mind already expanded, I found (just like the manufacturers wanted!) that their current cameras were more interesting than I'd imagined.
It was Aputure's $299 Amaran HR672C [B&H|Amazon], an ipad-sized, bi-color LED panel with high color accuracy, wireless remote control, and dual Sony NP style batteries all tucked away in a small travel case that put the final nail in the coffin of my ARRI Softbank IV Fresnel Lighting kit. I kept pestering the guys at Aputure to bring out some light modifiers for it, which they subsequently did with their $49.95 EZ-Box and Grid combo [B&H|Amazon]. Now accessories manufacturer Kamerar further burnishes the Amaran line's reputation with their own dedicated versions of these modifiers for the same light, the $29.95 D-FUSE Soft box[B&H|Amazon] and $24.95 Grid [Amazon]. They're easier to set up and take down than Aputure's originals, but they're not without issue either.