I’m sure I’ll post more about the Helix soon. The Helix is a stabilizer designed and built by Letus. They came to be during the 35mm adaptor fad. They made a quality product and have continued to make accessories for the changing market. I first saw a clip about the Helix at NAB and thought the design idea was cool. They center the lens for 360 degree rotation. It has a flat base so you can set it down. It is designed to be a camera stabilizer not a helicopter gyro. Anyway, I got to try one out today at Cinequipt. Just a couple of minutes and my first impression is sold. The Ronin is great, but much heavier, difficult to hold for long periods and just not as refined. I’ll be putting in an order soon.
What a cool format that was gone before it had a chance to really be fully embraced. Just today ARRI announced a digital Alexa 65 with a huge sensor requiring lenses with a large image circle. Borrowing from still photography they’re calling it medium format. Rental only at a substantial rate I imagine. It’s just cool to know that that camera exists. Fascinating article published in Film & Digital Times.
After waiting for a very long time the 50mm has arrived. Rokinon has a nice set of affordable primes. The 35mm is and 85 are great. The 24mm is acceptable on the 5D full sensor. But that 50 was really what was missing. This looks like a really good one. Looking forward to trying it out on a shoot tomorrow.
Sure enough, Sony announced a new camera, but it wasn’t a replacement for the FS700, but another variation on it. The PXW-FS7 has fantastic specs including 4K UHD, slow motion up to 180 FPS and a more ergonomic design. After toiling for a few days and thinking about how much I had been using the FS700, it was decided that this would be the next equipment purchase for our company. Move aside stabilizers and sound equipment, the FS7 has been ordered.
Here is the cheesy promo video for the camera:
It has been a busy couple of weeks. A few days out on the Bonneville Salt Flats filming with Victory motorcycles. An amazing experience in a really cool and legendary location. After that we had a couple of weddings and other short lifestyle projects. With all of these recent jobs I’ve spent a lot more time with the FS700 on location. Most of that time shooting off speed at 60, 120 and 240 fps. The camera has it shortfalls but for filming off speed it truly is awesome.
Buzzing around the internet this week is news that a refresh of the Fs700 is coming soon.
I’m happy to hear this, could be our next camera.
Auto Focus is for amateurs. Professionals would never. This is the attitude I have had for 20 year of working as an AC and camera operator. Auto Focus on a stills camera is great for stills, but Auto focus video has always been crap. Recently I had a shoot with the Canon C100 that had been upgraded with Canon Dual pixel AF. So used in conjunction with Canon DSLR lenses the sensor compares pixels in a way and changes the focus gradually as a focus puller might, not searching for it, but changing from one focus to another. I was reluctant, but as the shoot day went on, it was difficult to see the monitor in sunny conditions and we were doing a lot of walk and talk. Playing back the image it seemed to do a really nice job keeping things in focus and shifting purposefully when the composition changed. It is the little things, but that camera is winning me over slowly.
It is only a couple of weeks until classes begin. I was thinking about how I teach the basics of filmmaking and how it would be really useful to have some visuals besides films to talk about composition. And then I come across this video which is sort of quirky but it works.
So if you are taking a class with me in the future maybe I’ll show this video.
So back in January, I think, I signed up to be a kickstarter for the smallHD port protector for the 5DmkIII. They did a great job with the mkII so I thought why not, I’ll be one of the first to get it and I need it. Before that I had tried the port protector from redrock Micro along with their cage and I found it to be awkward to install and I didn’t care for the cage. Replaced it with a Wooden Camera cage, which is awesome. So the port protector from smallHD arrived today along with a T-shirt as a backer. It was easy to install and seems to work really great. Except my cage doesn’t fit with it in place. So if you use your 5DmkIII without a cage and would like to have some security for your HDMI cable this is your product.