First Impressions: Sony FDR AX1–The First 4K Camcorder With an Auto Mode

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 4K Camcorder (2 of 12)ISO 32001-70 sec at f - 3.2

To us, Sony is the company that often pushes the fold and gives us things before we even believed that it would be time for them to hit the market. And while it was obviously inevitable at some point and time, Sony is announcing today the world’s first camcorder with 4K video recording and a fully automatic mode: FDR AX1. Yes, while many cinematographers are working with really good 1080p video in manual mode, this camcorder is giving the affluent customer the power to shoot their kid’s recital in 4K or the news shooter to shoot breaking news in 4K using all the manual modes that they’re used to.

And they’re packing in a 20x optical zoom lens and a 1/2.3inch 12MP 8MP effective imaging sensor.

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Review: Cinetics Cineskates

Cinetics CineSkates

Around these parts, I’m known as the Kickstarter addict or at least it’s step one to admit it. Today we have a special review for you of a successful product that came from the crowdfunding forest of toys. CineSkates is that product and it is a part of the Cinetics system. The goal and purpose of CineSkates, in case you’re not familiar, is to give you smooth video pans in any direction.

I took a trip out to the Salton Sea and put the CineSkates system to the test. Let’s see how the scenes turn out in the review. Continue reading…

Review: Photography & Cinema GearBox

I started with the Rode VideoMic Pro and then moved to the Carry Speed ViewFinder. I began to take video seriously and starting looking into the JuicedLink Preamp for better audio. The dilemma was that I had no place to put the JuicedLink box and I knew that in the future I would be looking into a HDMI recorder or a LCD display. Then the GearBox entered the scene offering a professional way to mount all of my video related accessories.

The GearBox is simple but it does the job very well. I have spent some time with the cage and have wrote down my thoughts to share with you. Continue reading…

Review: Carry Speed VF-3 Universal LCD View Finder

I am sitting here with the Carry Speed Viewfinder and I am wondering why didn’t I get one of these sooner? Like many photography or video related products we really don’t know what we are missing until we make the leap. The viewfinder makes precise manual focussing a cinch and now I can’t see myself shooting video without it.

I’ve had the VF-3 for a couple weeks now and I am going to go over it in detail and describe my experience with it.

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GoPro Hero3 Now Comes in Both Black and Silver; 4K Video Recording

Image courtesy of B&H Photo

Today, GoPro has announced their latest addition to their action cam lineup. The new Hero3 comes in two different versions: black and silver. The Black offers users 4K recording at 12fps, 2.7K 30p, 1080p 60p, 1440 48fps, 960p 48, 720p 120fps and finally standard definition at 240fps. For those of you not seeing your favorite cinema frame rate of 24fps or 25fps don’t worry, 2.7k, 1440 and 1080 each offer these. Plus it sports a 12MP sensor with a 30 frame burst mode. But that’s not all, the camera has a wide-angle f2.8 lens, and wifi built in. The new model also sports a 30% smaller which helps make it 25% lighter.

While the GoPro Hero3 Black is bound to get most of the spotlight today, the Silver edition was also announced. This camera with a 10MP sensor can shoot 1080p 30, 960p 48fps, and 720p 60p. Plus it has an 11MP sensor with a 10 frame burst mode. Like the black, it also has wifi built in.

The Hero 3 Black will retail for $400 while the silver will come in at $300 and start shipping Monday. You can pre-order the black and silver versions at B&H Photo.

First Impressions: Sony NEX VG-900

Today, Sony has finally outed two new NEX camcorders. One is the VG30: an update to their VG20 camcorder with an APS-C sized chip. The other is very special. Rumors have gone around the web with none of them being perfectly correct. The new camcorder is the Sony VG900; and it is a full frame E-Mount camcorder.

Wait, does that make sense? Yes. Attach an APS-C lens onto it, and it will shoot in cropped mode. Attach a full frame lens (we tested a Leica 35mm f2 that Jim from PCMag brought along) and you’ll be able to shoot in full frame mode without any problem.

Exciting, no?

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Review: Steadicam Smoothee for the Apple iPhone

Anyone who loves making films knows what a Steadicam is. It gives you those beautiful shots that look like the camera is effortlessly floating around the scene like it’s on a cloud. Some of Hollywood’s best movies featured a scene with the Steadicam like Raging Bull, The Shinning and Children of Men. And it’s all thanks to Garret Brown: the Pioneer of the Steadicam. Did I mention he’s a really nice guy in person?

Tiffen came out with a much more simpler version of the unit that can be used with your iPhone, as well as for the GoPro camera–or dare I say this, the now extinct Flip Mino. In my use I must say it was not as easy as I was expecting. I ran into a few snags when shooting.

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Nice Industries Launches KickStarter for The Aviator Travel Jib

Nice Industries launched a Kickstarter campaign for the New Aviator Travel Jib. This is a super light weight, compact jib. This jib is going to make it a lot easier for you to get the shots you need in areas you normally can’t take a traditional sized jib on the job.

Normally traditional jibs are big, cumbersome, heavy things that take up a good amount of area to set up and use. The Travel Jib will make your job easier because of it’s lighter weight, compact size, portability and affordability.

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7 Videos Shot on the Canon 5D Mk III in New York

While our Canon 5D Mk III review is in the works, I’ve been hunting around looking for more video footage from the HDSLR. As the curator and creator of Vimeo’s NYC HD Video channel, I often run into lots of footage filmed in my very own home: New York City. Lots of creatives here have the new camera, and so I went on a search around Vimeo looking for videos already shot and uploaded to the community using the Canon 5D Mk III. Here’s what I’ve found:

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How to Create Videos That Look Like They Were Shot with Kodak Tri-X With Your Olympus Micro Four Thirds Camera

Andrew Reed over at EOSHD loves the Panasonic GH2; he well should due to the fact that he is a professional videographer. He also has used the camera at super high ISOs in black and white while still achieving a film-like quality to the video. Because I dabble in street photography and have a video background, I have a love for Kodak Tri-X and the smaller Micro Four Thirds bodies like the venerable Olympus EP2: still considered by me to have some of the best image quality of all the models made. But even though the old camera doesn’t have the video capabilities of the newer GH2, it can still look quite nice providing that you use it correctly.

Here’s how to make your videos look like they were shot with Kodak Tri-X video film.

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The Best Budget Lenses and Accessories for Canon DSLR Users Shooting Video

Rokinon Cine 35mm top of lens

We’ve written before about the best budget lenses, the best accessories for HDSLR cameras, the right Canon lens for you and we even listed a bunch of autofocus lenses for DSLR videography. But what if you need to start shooting more video to help your business grow? Sure, you can spring for the autofocus lenses but they’re not always the most affordable and photographic lenses aren’t always the most ergonomical when it comes to shooting video. Instead, you may want to spring for some of these bad boys: providing that you have the right accessories too.

After having real-world and live testing, we bring you the guide to the best lenses for shooting video (and lots of other accessories too.)

With this said, always remember: vision comes first.

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Review: Light Craft Workshop Fader ND Mk II Fading Neutral Density Filter

We’ve talked about using filters before in photography, but if you want to get into videography, you’ll learn that filters take a much bigger role. For example, what if you want to shoot video with your lens wide open? For continuity purposes, you’ll need to keep a steady shutter speed and sometimes your ISO being on the lowest setting won’t work well enough in extra bright situations. For problems like this, consider the Light Craft Workshop Fader ND Mk II: a filter with 10 stops of light reduction.

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Review: Kinotehnik LCDVF

As photographers, we sometimes want to shoot video but our DSLRs are plagued by different issues. For example, they can be ergonomic nightmares when it comes to trying to record steady handheld footage. Part of this is because of the fact that the LCD screen needs to be held at a certain distance away from you. Enter the Kinotehnik LCDVF: a highly recommended viewfinder attachment for HDSLR videography at an affordable price.

But is it for you?

Correction: We originally called this the CowBoy Studios LCDVF. Kinotehnik emailed us to tell us that theirs is a knock off and not related. However, the products are similar but Kinotehnik’s version is superior. It is also easily mistaken. Here’s how to tell the real vs fake.

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Review: Zoom H4n Microphone

The Zoom H4n has become a very popular gadget due to DSLRs’ full 1080 HD video capability. This added functionality is great for not only still photographers who buy HDSLRs (High Definition SLRs), but also for videographers who can’t splurge on professional video cameras. The only issue is that an HDSLR’s audio does not sound very good. The sound might be good for home movies, but if you are using your camera to shoot professional quality movies then you need a different solution for recording sound.

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Sony NEX-VG10 and Canon 7D Shoot a Video

So the other night, my good friend Mike Florio and I shot some video footage for my friend’s band: Mancie. The footage is in the video above, but we’d like to know if you can tell which was used more: the Canon 7D or the Sony NEX VG-10. Here are some hints:

– The Sony was shot at +24 decibels of gain and the Canon was shot at ISO 6400.

– The Canon had the 50mm F/1.8 on it and the Sony had the 50mm F/1.4. Because of how dark the venue was, the lenses were shot wide open.

– One camera’s footage was much more difficult to transcode than the other, and it was all edited in Final Cut.

– One camera is better resolution wise.

– One camera’s sensor has a larger dynamic range than the other as well as better high ISO handling. DXoMark could help you with this one.

As you know, I’ve stated that I wanted to throw the NEX VG-10 out the window, but I’ve also admitted that it has some terrific footage. Additionally, I swear by my Canon 7D, and still consider it one of the best cameras out there for the money. Don’t think it’s possible? You’d be surprised.

Let us know in the comments below with a good reason and once we’ve reached 30 comments we’ll reveal the answer.

Update: Most of the footage in the video was from the Canon 7D. Indeed, the footage from the Sony NEX-VG10 is the pixelated footage. At first, I thought it was just a creative effect. I was wrong, Final Cut was having problems transcoding the footage.

7 Reasons Why I Want to Throw The Sony NEX-VG10 Out the Window

Readers of this site have asked for more HDSLR reviews: and so the first one that popped into my mind was the Sony NEX-VG10 and I’m currently working on a review. As another addition to the Sony NEX line of cameras, it’s a powerful camera in a small package: and it makes me want to scream at times. Like the Sony NEX-5 that I reviewed previously, I feel like it is best left in the auto modes and never touched otherwise. But that is only one of my frustrations with the camera. Here’s a list of the seven reasons why I want to throw this camera out the window and the few reasons why I won’t.

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Hands On Review: Canon G10 Camcorder

Last month, my hands fondled and caressed the newly announced Canon G10 prosumer camcorder. While I wasn’t allowed to take pictures, handling the non-working prototype model proved to be an interesting experience coupled with the presentation from Canon. Because of this, I wasn’t able to gauge the image quality of the camcorder but I was able to take away quite a bit from the experience.

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