Here’s some more footage from Arizona. Shot with the FS700. Theres a mixture of timelapse shot using S&Q motion at 1 frame every second as well as lightning shot at 480,240 and 120fps.
Here’s a little clip I shot yesterday as part of my Arizona workshop. As we had some time between storms we took a little side trip to the Grand Canyon to try shooting aerials with the F3′s and FS700. This clip was shot with the FS700 using the 18-200mm stabilised kit lens. It came out really well, I’m very pleased. I did add some additional stabilisation using Premiere CS6′s warp stabiliser, but if the shot isn’t reasonably stable to start with this can add some blur. Fortunately the FS700 active steadyshot is very good so this was not a problem.
We kind of knew this was coming, a lower cost super35mm camcorder from Canon. Slightly smaller than the C300 but using the same sensor recording to AVCHD at 24Mb/s and with a built in LCD panel as opposed to an external one this really does look like a nice little camcorder. Follow the link below for the full details from the Canon web site.
I won’t be posting much this week as I’m in Arizona shooting storms and the Grand Canyon. I’m shooting with the FS700 and getting some great footage and clips. Here’s a few frame grabs for you. Believe me when I say the footage is even more amazing. lightning at 240fps is ver cool!
I received an email from Convergent Design this morning outlining how the Gemini 444 recorder will support 4K, 10 bit raw at up to 30fps from the Canon C500 via a chargable firmware upgrade. If you’ve got two Gemini’s you can even record raw 4K at up to 60fps which is pretty impressive, but one hell of a lot of data (approx 1.5TB per hour). I only wish that Sony and Convergent would get together quickly to do the same for the FS700.
Here’s an extract from the email:
“As anticipation for delivery of the Canon C500 mounts, Convergent Design is happy to announce support of Canon 4K Cinema Raw on the popular Gemini 4:4:4 external recorder.
Gemini 4:4:4 is a full uncompressed recorder and 5″ monitor that records to two 1.8″ SSD’s. Convergent Design offers an ARRIRAW Option, as well as a Stereo 3D Option, both as paid upgrades. Rounding out it’s functionality will be a Canon 4K Cinema Raw Option.
The Canon 4K Cinema Raw Option will capture 10-bit Log Raw (.rmf) up to 30fps on a single Gemini, and up to 60fps using two Gemini’s. Likewise, a single Gemini supports HD up to 60fps, while two Gemini’s enables a blazing HD@120fps!
Convergent Design is excited about this release. “The picture quality of the C500 is astounding; beautiful and crisp. We enjoyed shooting with it. Paired with the Gemini 4:4:4 it is not only a powerful camera, but a compact and sleek option for big pictures from a hand-held rig. The size and cost of Gemini 4:4:4 makes it a natural fit,” says Amber Cowles, MarCom Director.”
So, tomorrow I depart for Arizona to run a week long workshop on documentary video production. It’s monsoon season in Arizona so thunderstorms are an almost daily occurrence and these will be the backdrop to the workshop. Amongst the kit need to run the workshop is the main camera, a Sony FS700, 4 lenses including that lovely Zunow, vinten tripod and a Canon 550D DSLR with special lighting trigger. I’m also taking a small motion control head and an extra tripod for time-lapse sequences that will include star trails, sunsets and sun rises etc. Then there is the laptop for editing and batteries to power everything.
The problem of course is that I only have a limited baggage allowance. 2 bags at 23kg each plus a carry on bag. Now I have, would you believe it, managed to cram all of the above into my allocated bags. I’ve even managed to include a weeks worth of clothes (they make up much of the padding to protect my valuable gear. One thing to consider when packing for travel is the weight of the cases themselves. A typical large pelicase or similar can weigh in at 6 or 7kg before you’ve even put anything in it. A similarly sized samsonite suitcase costs less to buy, weighs a lot less and doesn’t shout “valuable.. steal me”. For tripods a larger suitcase will often take a standard set of ENG legs diagonally across the interior or a roll along large sports bag will take a set of legs wrapped in your clothes and then the head can go in your main suitcase.
After packing all the essential I found I had a couple of kilos to spare so I’ve also included an NEX5N with a time-lapse controller and a few extra batteries. Out in the USA we will be joined by another instructor with an F3 and more kit, so between us we should be well sorted for a great workshop.
It’s not too late to join us if your interested in learning how to shoot storms, lightning, starscapes and time-lapse as well as many other documentary production techniques.Use the contact for if your tempted.
I’ll be blogging as often as possible from Arizona either here or on my Facebook page so do check back to see how we get on. Should be fun!
Sony kept this one very quite. The first I heard about this was yesterday. It’s based on the NEX-VG20 which is in turn based on the NEX-5N APS-C stills camera. It is a shoulder mount camcorder with a really rather nice form factor that includes an adjustable shoulder mount. The sensor is an APS-C sized sensor, so slightly smaller than the super 35mm sized sensor in the Sony F3 or FS100/700 camcorders. It records on to SD cards or Memory Sticks using AVCHD. It is a world camera so will record in both PAL and NTSC modes, frame rates include 23.98p, 25p, 30p, 25i, 30i, 50p and 60p. As well as the camcorder Sony also have some new memory sticks that have built in raid storage. So a 64GB card provides 2 separate 32GB memory areas so recordings are recorded twice. If one half of the memory were to fail, your recordings will still be safe on the other mirrored half. Clever stuff, but it won’t help you if you loose the card!
Getting back to the camera, because the sensor is a 16.1MP APS-C sensor designed originally for still photos, there will be more moire and aliasing than you would see from a dedicated video camera sensor because the optical low pass filter is designed for still photo resolutions as opposed to HD video. Although based on the NEX5N stills camera the video image processing has been tailored for video so the video image quality should be better than that from the stills cameras. As well as video the camera will also take still photos and has the ability to store raw still images. The camcorder has XLR audio connections, but no timecode and no HDSDI out, only HDMI. The LCD viewfinder uses the same LCD as the FS100/FS700 and a very similar looking loupe/eyepiece. This is a budget entry level camcorder, so sadly no ND filters. Probably just as well because if it did it would really annoy any FS100 owners. Ergonomically it looks really good.NEX-EA50EH with shoulder pad extended.
The shoulder pad can be adjusted and slides out from under the rear of the camera on built in rails. The top of the extending shoulder mount has mounting points for accessories such as external recorders or radio mice so no need to use 3rd party rods and rails. Perhaps the most significant feature though is that the NEX-EA50EH is supplied with a servo zoom lens! This 11x zoom lens (SEL18200PZ18-200) uses Sony’s now familiar E-Mount so it will also fit on any other E-Mount camera. On the side of the lens there is a small zoom control rocker (three fixed speeds, low-mid-high), so even if your E-Mount camera doesn’t have a zoom control (FS100, NEX5N etc) you can still use the power zoom. Apparently the lens is based on the 18-200mm kit lens that comes with the FS100/FS700 but now with a zoom servo and updated firmware, so it will almost certainly telescope and extend in length as you zoom. It has optical stabilisation and auto focus. Manual focus is of the round and round, non calibrated servo variety. I’ve been told that the NEX-EA50EH will cost around£3k including the lens. The lens itself will be available separately from photo stores some time around the end of the year.
I’m running a small workshop in Arizona between the 27th and 31st of August for those wishing to further develop their short film and documentary production skills. Please see this page for full details.
One of the real weak points of the EX1 and EX3 cameras is the tripod mounting plate. It’s a tiny postage stamp sized metal plate attached to the cameras chassis by 4 tiny screws. Over time the screws work loose and the plates start to wobble. In addition the small surface area means that even when mounted correctly the cameras can flex and wobble. This is most noticeable if your doing long lens work with the EX3 or trying to use the cameras on a 3D rig. Over the years there have been quite a few manufacturers that have produced plates that attach to the EX cameras to spread the tripod mounting loads across more of the base of the cameras, in addition adding extra 1/4″ and the larger 3/8″ mounting threads used on most pro tripods. Most of these are of very similar design. I would always recommend that any EX owner uses one of these plates. They make the EX cameras much nicer to use, they are more stable and the metal base plate tends to protect the bottom of the camera.Teletest Teleplate for EX1
UK based company Teletest, best known for their cost effective SD and HD monitors recently loaned me a number of their brackets and shoulder mount accessories to evaluate. Now I will admit that I at the time I didn’t have any cameras to fit them to, but I have seen them on other cameras so I know that they fit well. So my comments are based on what I saw when examining the plates not attached to a camera. First thing to note is that this is more than just a shoulder plate range, it is a complete shoulder mounting and power system. The base plates, made from high grade black anodised aluminium attach to the bottom of the cameras via the existing tripod mounting points.EX3 Teleplate (with shoulder extension and power distributor)
On the EX3 plate there are two additional mounting screws that attach to the rear of the EX3 making this a very strong and very secure system. On the EX1R, Teletest only use the existing tripod screws, unlike some other plates available they do not also attach to some of the small body/chassis screws at the rear of the cameras base. The rear of the EX1R plate has a strange looking extension to it’s rear with a big square hole in it. At first it looks odd, until you realise that it’s like this to allow you to remove and replace the standard camera battery while still acting as a part of the shoulder mount system.Teletest power distributor with 15mm rail adapter.
Once you have attached your base plate to the camera you can then add various options. These include a VCT-14 toe piece for use with a quick release tripod plate, quick release plates for Sachtler tripods, a shoulder pad and a power distribution unit (I believe a new system that no longer needs the power unit is coming out soon). With the shoulder pad attached and then the power distribution unit attached to the back of the pad the battery on the power unit helps balance the camera better on your shoulder. This would allow you to put together a nice shoulder rig, especially if combined with a 3rd party EVF like the Alphatron or Cineroid. The power distribution units come in flavours to suit Pag, V-lock or Anton Bauer batteries and each has 2x 2.5mm sony type power connectors for camera power and 5x 2.1mm DC sockets under a fabric cover that also acts as a cable strain relief. Each output is protected from overload by a self resetting fuse. A green LED indicates when each output is active. The power distributor is a handy unit to have as these days I’m often running multiple devices on my camera rigs, monitors, viewfinders etc. Another nice feature is that there is a 12V DC in XLR connector, so if you have mains power you can plug your mains adapter in to the power distributor which then feeds the camera plus all your accessories.Complete Teleplate system with an EX3
So if you need a reenforcing base plate for your EX3 and maybe a shoulder mount system but don’t want the complexity of 15mm rods you should consider the Teletest Teleplate system.
Well I gave in and ordered one. I’ve been looking at these for a while and asking around heard nothing but good stuff about them. I hadn’t purchased one before now because I felt the entire shoulder mount was a bit too tall with a little too much flex (more on that later), but I needed something now and have not finished my own design yet.
I ordered my mount from CVP in the UK who stock most of the Tilta range and it arrived next day. On opening the box I found the good looking mount and a pair of short 15mm rods for the rear of the mount and a longer pair for the front.Small Quick Release plate.
The camera attaches to the mount via a very small quick release plate with one 1/4″ and one 3/8″ screw. This plate was really designed for DSLR’s and it has a number of locating pins for various DSLR’s that can be unscrewed when not needed. As a result the plate is very small only a couple of inches long and the wedge that slots into the quick release plate on the main part of the shoulder mount is only about an inch long. In my opinion this is too small for a video camera. A bigger plate would be more secure and much more stable. Once you have attached the quick release plate to the camera it can be slid onto the shoulder mount from the rear. Now there’s a small problem with this as if you have a battery adapter or other accessories mounted on the rear of the shoulder mount you can’t slide the camera in and out of the QR mount. Don’t panic though because if you loosen of the the locking screw for the QR mount enough you can actually slot the camera into the mount from the side.FS700, NanoFlash and Alphatron EVF om a Tilta Shoulder Mount.
The shoulder mount is very good looking and overall nicely designed, but the quick release platform makes it quite tall. Once mounted, the cameras were reasonably stable but there is a small bit of flex in the QR platform and the QR plate to camera mount. With the camera mounted it was time to add all the other stuff I need. For both cameras I like to use my gorgeous Alphatron EVF. On the FS700 this is mounted using a bracket that I fabricated which comes off the handle mount. On the F3 it’s mounted to another home made bracket attached to the Genus F3 top cheese plate.My simple viewfinder bracket
Using the short rails on the rear of the mount I used a Genus cheese plate to mount a V-Lock battery plate and on the FS700 a NanoFlash and for the F3 either a Gemini or Samurai. The NanoFlash is a great match to the FS700. As the camera only has an 8 bit output a 10 bit recorder isn’t necessary and the compact file size that you get with the XDCAM codec means less to backup and archive as well as lower per minute media costs. You also get the ability to do timelapse with the NanoFlash and it has cache record.
On the F3 the Gemini is my recorder of choice for ultimate image quality, but when I don’t need uncompressed the Samurai does a great job.Hopefully the ability to record DNxHD on the Gemini will come soon as then I could use the Gemini for both compressed and uncompressed. I’ve still not decided on which batteries I’m going to use with which camera but the Genus cheese plate has so many mounting holes that I can fit pretty much anything to it.Convergent design Gemini on the back of the F3 rig.
One top tip is that if you need to attach things securely but on a temporary basis you can use some special velcro like tape called 3M Dual Lock. It’s very strong and objects attached with it snap on and off. Once attached it will hold quite considerable loads very securely.
At the front end I tried various lens options. On the FS700 the first combo I tried was one of my MTF B4 adapters with a Canon 16x broadcast zoom lens. This is a great setup for news and documentary shooting.2/3″ B4 lens on the FS700via the MTF adapter.
You still get your nice shallow depth of field, but you have a proper servo zoom. The matte box in the photo’s is a Genus Elite. I had to set the 15mm rail supports on the Tilta mount to very close to their highest position to get the correct 80mm lens centre to rail distance. When I adjusted the rail mount I noticed that the set screws had left a quite considerable mark and depression where they were originally set. The Aluminium used in the construction of the shoulder mount is quite soft, so don’t over tighten things. When using the broadcast zoom you use the zooms hand grip so no need to add any extra handles to the rig. For DSLR lenses and PL Mount lenses however a pair of handgrips can be useful. In this case I used a pair of Genus handgrips from a Genus shoulder rig.The F3 showing the need to use a riser to get the rods to the correct hight.
Moving on to the F3, the F3 body is quite a bit taller than the FS700, so the lens center is also higher. As a result I found it impossible to reduce the distance between the lens center and the rods to the correct 80mm spacing. As a result I was unable to use my Elite Matte box as I don’t have a riser for this (it’s set for 80mm). So in order to use the Tilta shoulder mount with the F3 I’m going to have to use a riser block for the rods. I always suspected the hight of the mount might cause problems. What I’m going to look at is doing away with the quick release bracket and mounting the camera directly to the shoulder mount. Another issue the QR bracket creates is that if the camera is mounted slightly pointing left or right, the only way to adjust it is to either remove the camera from the shoulder mount and adjust the QR plate, or use brute force to twist the camera to where you want it. Neither of which is really ideal.Genus hand grips and the FS700 kit lens.
The Tilta shoulder mount has an integrated VCT-14 wedge at the front with a small shoe at the rear that connects to the back stud on a VCT-14 quick release plate. This makes it fast to mount and detach from a tripod, but unless you already have one, you will have to buy a VCT-14 compatible tripod plate. Overall it’s well constructed and I think it’s the best of the bunch in this price range, but it’s not perfect and you may need a riser for the front rods.
Most Recent Posts
- Super Slow Motion 480fps Lightning.
- The Grand Canyon, shot with an FS700.
- Canon Launches new C100 AVCHD s35mm camcorder.
- Arizona Storm Shoot Update
- Convergent Design Gemini to Support 4K with the Canon C500.
- What not to pack!
- New Sony NEX-EA50EH shoulder mount 35mm camcorder. Power Zoom lens for FS100 and FS700
- SHort Film/Documentary Workshop in Arizona.
- A to Z Index
- Alister's Bio and Info
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- Alister’s Bio and Info
- Alister’s Blog
- Camera Setup
- Contact Me
- Documentary Production Workshops
- Example Video Clips
- How To Videos
- Northern Lights Live 2012
- Once in a Lifetime Northern lights Expeditions to Norway.
- Picture Profile Guide.
- Adaptimax Lens Adapters for PMW-F3
- Alister’s Equipment Reviews A to Z.
- Alphatron EVF-035W Viewfinder Video Review.
- Atomos Samurai
- Camrade cb-single-iii camera bag.
- CamRade WS PMW F3 Rain Cover Review.
- Cineroid HDSDI EVF (EVF-4MSS) review.
- Juice Designs EX1R Baseplate.
- Manfrotto 509 Tripod Head
- NEX-FS700 In Depth Review.
- Review of the Sony PMW-200
- Sonnet QIO Review. Very, Very, Fast Offloads.
- Sonnet SDHC to SxS Camera Adapter.
- Sony FS100 and F3 Video Review
- Sony PVM-740 OLED monitor
- Tilta BS-TS03 Shoulder Mount Review
- Today3D FIZ controller. Focus, Zoom, Iris, Interaxial.
- Transvideo PMW-F3 replacement base assembly.
- Triad PL to E-Mount adapter.
- TVLogic WFM-056WP Monitor/Viewfinder
- Vinten 100 Tripod Review
- Shooting Tips
- Short Film Workshop
- Tech Notes.
- Training and Expeditions
- Ultimate Documentary Production Workshop
- Video Reviews
- Workshops and Training
- alisterchapman on 50 Megabits for the masses, the new Sony PMW-200.
- alisterchapman on The Grand Canyon, shot with an FS700.
- alisterchapman on Alphatron EVF-035W Video Review.
- alisterchapman on Uncompressed 240 fps possible with FS700 and Convergent Design Gemini. Tested!
- alisterchapman on Adaptimax Lens Mount Adapters for PMW-F3, Canon and Nikon.