All My GH5 Videos in One Post!

Well, this is one way to play catch up: put all the videos I've done on the Panasonic GH5 and related lenses over the last couple of months in one post. Enjoy -- and if you like what you've seen here, please remember to give a thumbs up, subscribe to our YouTube channel and consider using our affiliate links or even directly supporting us with a contribution via PayPal in the "MORE" section below each video on YouTube. Thanks!

Read More

Fujinon MK 50-135 T2.9 on Sony a6300 with Zacuto Scissors: Killer Combo

Along with its wider brother (MK 18-55 T2.9), Fujinon's 50-135 T2.9 cine zoom has just gorgeous image quality -- especially when paired with Sony's little a6300. The key is to truly lock the lens down on such a small body, and for that Zacuto's Scissors is fantastic: it locks the lens in place on your rail system by literally screwing into the lens itself, so you don't get flexing in either direction. If you have a Sony e-mount camera, you'll want to take a look at this pair. You may also want to look at the rig I used to hold it all together, the Sachtler Ace Baseplate; SmallRig 15 carbon fiber rods; Really Right Stuff L-bracket; and the edelkrone FocusOne.

Read More

PRomptBox ONE: Best Teleprompter Under $150, Maybe a Whole Lot More

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.

Read More

Three Days with a Pile of E-Mount Lenses, an a6300, an a6000, an RX10 III, an iPhone 6s+, and a Couple of Bags: What Better Way to Stress Gear than at a Presidential Nominating Convention?

It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, but this time (unlike in April) I wasn’t official press. Forget about a tripod or monopod - Secret Service rules prohibited even selfie-sticks. Forget about a lot of glass, especially long, fast glass: not only would everything have to be hand-held, but those same rules stipulated no backpacks and no bags bigger than 18” x 13” x 7.” And then there were the closed-door meetings where even if I had been press, no press were allowed. Traveling small, light and unobtrusive were the orders of the week. Heads-up: this is a post about gear -- not politics -- but if you don’t want to see photographs from the Democratic National Convention in Philly (along with protests) you’d better stop reading here.

Read More

Zacuto: Bullet-Proof but Evolving

When I received a demo unit from Convergent Design of their RAW-enabled Odyssey 7q+ 4k recorder/monitor combo, I finally had the basic pieces -- along with the Sony FS5 and RAW upgrade -- to do a long-awaited review. But when I thought through the test scenarios and other gear I might need, I reached out to Zacuto, a highly regarded "Made in America" filmmaking accessories manufacturer founded by working pros to help me pull it all together. The RAW review is still in the works, but I thought I'd take time in the interim to review the Zacuto gear used in the project. It quickly became a reflection on broader industry trends and how small U.S. manufacturers can respond.

Read More

SmartSLIDER Reflex S: True Fluid Drag in a Robust Yet Light Slider

I wonder if sliders for some of us are like gear bags for others: we keep looking for the perfect one. The SmartSlider Reflex S is the first slider I've used which has a separate variable drag control. The slider is robust, and the drag control works. It's a fascinating and worthy alternative to the sliders I have: Cinevate's Duzi, and Syrp's Magic Carpet.

Read More

Sachtler Ace Follow Focus: Exceptionally Straightforward and Complete

In this penultimate episode of our series on Sachtler gear -- our first exposure to this legendary German company's products -- we take a peek at their follow focus unit, available separately  or as part of the complete and beautifully integrated Ace accessories kit (which also includes their matte box and base plate). At $630 for the follow focus alone, it's just over three times the price of my edelkrone FOCUS ONE, but spoiler alert: if it fits with the rest of your gear, I think it's worth it.

Read More

Sachtler Video 18 S2 Fluid Head: Crazy Good, Crazy Expensive

At just about $5,000 for a fluid head alone, Sachtler's Video 18 S2 costs more than the cameras owned by most people who read this blog (and just about five times my daily shooter, the Sony a6300). But if you want to know why it costs so much -- or how good it is (spoiler alert: incredible) and when it makes sense -- read on.

Read More

Blackmagic 4K Video Assist: Basic 4K Recording Wrapped in a Robust All-Metal Case with Beautiful Screen, Excellent Touch Interface

If you're looking for a 4K recorder/monitor combo unit for your hybrid mirrorless or DSLR, Blackmagic's 4K Video Assist deserves to be on your short list. It has a bug that needs to be addressed (see below), but the price, display, build quality, dual card slots, dual batteries, and dead simple touch interface make it a unique value in the market.

Read More

Sachtler vs. Zacuto vs. FOTGA -- or Why the HECK Would Someone Spend Five to Ten Times as Much on a Freakin' Baseplate When You Can Get a Perfectly Usable One for $60? THIS is Why.

This is why it makes sense to find the optimal compromise between price and performance for the core components of your gear (camera and lenses): you're going to need a pile more dough for everything else. But "pile" is a relative term. Welcome to episode 2 of what I'm now calling our Goldilocks series, where this time we look at baseplates - a category I used to think was beyond mundane. I was wrong.

Read More

CAME-TV's Argo 3-Axis Gimbal Reminds Me of 1956's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Cool!

I'm on a real 1950s sci-fi flick tear: everything seems to remind me of one of those movies. Especially the Argo: can you spell INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956)? But bear with me, because this analogy may be more apt than you think. Unless you prefer the 1970's TV series THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN. And no, this is not going to be a typical gimbal review.

Read More

Suddenly, in a Crazy World, Anton Bauer Makes Batteries REALLY Interesting

We are creatures of our environment. Same with products: they are a function of the time and circumstances in which they are developed. Have you ever faced the problem of carrying gear to an airport boarding gate, getting hassled about excess baggage and the need to check your gear due to an over-full flight, only for everyone to realize you CAN'T, you're NOT ALLOWED, to do that because they contain Li-ION batteries? Anton Bauer has an app for that. Well, not exactly...

Read More

Sony’s FS5 is the Best Get-It-Right, NO FUTZING AROUND Interchangeable Lens Video Camera for the Money Out There Today. Here’s Why.

Those of you who know me will remember that I’ve drooled over the Sony a7S II and again over the a7R II, yet my favorite camera these days is Sony’s a6300. I put it in my bag as I headed to Oaks, PA last month, part of a team covering a Bernie Sanders event (this is not a political post, don’t worry). I got some great footage with it. But the camera I chose as my primary was Sony’s FS5 with their Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS lens. Here’s why. 

Read More

Wildlife Photographer and Videographer Bertie Gregory - and the Sachtler Video 18 S2 [NAB 2016, Episode 7]

Vegas + NAB = one of the largest gear porn fests on the planet, but it's ultimately about the people. Meet Bertie Gregory, a 22-year-old wildlife photographer and videographer phenom working with National Geographic and Sachtler in pursuit of his dream job. And while you're at it, meet Sachtler's just-announced 18 S2, an update to their highly regarded 18 S1 fluid head.

Read More