As well as the latest new equipment, in the new issue of Pro Moviemaker we focus on testing cost-effective mirrorless cameras like the Panasonic S5 and Sony A7S III, look at buying used kit and also kickstart our Gear of the Year awards where the very best equipment is honoured. The new issue of Pro Moviemaker magazine is packed with information and tests to help independent moviemakers make wise business decisions.
Save money with the best used buys right now LOCKDOWN CASH SAVERS
How the radical BGH1 boxcam shows a new way of working
New-school wireless audio kit
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The vlogging camwith extraordinary audio Flash memory cards explained and rated
We put the new Rotolight X1 LED panel through its paces TITANONTEST
Tested: Manfrotto gimbal, Hollyland wireless video kit, the affordable field monitor and stylish 3LT tripod
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The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
Editor in chief Adam Duckworth Contributor Lee Renwick Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Sub editor Elisha Young Junior sub editor Jack Nason EDITORIAL ADVERTISING Group ad manager Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 firstname.lastname@example.org Ad sales manager Ed Grundy email@example.com DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Design manager Alan Gray Designers Lucy Woolcomb and Man-Wai Wong PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck MEDIA SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS OF:
IMAGE If you’re going to be a filmmaker, then you’d better understand the tech side, too!
The most important new video camera of the year is, of course, the Apple iPhone 12. Certainly in terms of howmany will be sold and howmany millions of videos will be taken on them and uploaded to social media sites. Most absolutely awful, of course. Yes, you can rig them up and shoot full feature films on phones – talented people have. But what makes the iPhone truly important to professional filmmaking is that it is just so easy to use. There are settings or even dedicated apps that allow you to actually control the phone’s video settings, and even put a stylish grade on the finished film. Then share them in seconds to your social media pages or friends. You don’t need to spend hours digging through menus to work out how to do everything. The real glory of smartphones is how easy they are to use, and how just about everyone nowadays is used to the swiping, pinch-to-zoom and icon-led menus. It’s the newway of doing things and something camera manufacturers could learn from. Take the masked-up filmmaker in the photo above, shooting on a Red with a bank of Rotolight Titan X1 lights. He will have had a huge learning curve in how the camera works, and the glut of menu items available. From codecs to compression, file formats to memory card formatting, it all has to be learned and committed to memory. With external monitors there are so many more settings, and if they are monitor/ recorders then there’s a lot more options, too. The same for audio, and then add in wireless audio, wireless video transmission systems and motorised sliders, it’s hugely complicated. Motorised gimbals, POV action cams, drones… they all take a lot of technical know-how to learn. As do lights, especially complicated RGBWW LED panels. Of course, big productions will have their own camera assistants, DITs, lighting techs and a whole crew to sort out the techno stuff. But for the majority of independent filmmakers, they have to know how to do everything. Luckily, clued-up companies are now launching their products with app control, and we test several in this issue, such as the Hollyland Mars video transmitter and Panasonic BGH1 camera. Some of these apps are easy to use – such as Manfrotto’s gimbal app or pretty much anything made by DJI. Others are far more clunky, such as Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile. As filmmaking tech continues to advance, hopefully the next big advancement will be companion apps that offer genuinely ease of connection and use. Or touchscreens on the products themselves with the ease of use that Apple has managed to squeeze into its consumer-level kit. It’s no good being on set with the most capable kit in the world if you don’t know how to use it.
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Pro Moviemaker is published quarterly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. ISSN number: 2045-3892. Pro Moviemaker is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Pro Moviemaker that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Prices quoted are street prices. In sterling they include VAT but US dollar prices are without local sales taxes. Prices are where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.
ADAM DUCKWORTH, EDITOR IN CHIEF
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
NOV/DEC 2020 CONTENTS
6 THE RED YOU CAN AFFORD! Legendary American cinema camera firm reveals its 6K Komodo camera with AF and, finally, a price that won’t break the bank. Plus, there’s DJI’s latest innovations and the revised full-frame Nikon mirrorless cameras. 8 BENRO’S TECHNO THINKTANK The tripod giant unveils the first new products from its new Imaging Lab project of top engineers and designers. Plus, we look at a bargain monopod and how a big stock Panasonic reveals firmware changes to its full-frame mirrorless cameras, unleashing even more features, and Rode does the same for its VideoMic NTG. 12 FIVE MINUTES WITH... Ollie Kenchington - a filmmaker, colourist and educator - talks about how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected his life and how he’s overcome the toughest challenges. photo agency is embracing more video. 11 FREEBIE FIRMWARE FRENZY
15 GEAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS LAUNCHED It’s the launch of the fourth annual Pro Moviemaker GOTY awards, where the very best equipment and software are honoured.
28 SAVE CASH BY BUYING USED We all love the latest and greatest cameras, but there’s a lot of money to be saved by spending your cash on used equipment. 34 FLASH MOB RULES! Do you know your CFexpress from your CFast? Your MicroSD from your Compact Flash? We take you through the latest formats.
38 WIRELESS WONDERS We look at how innovative new products are shaking up the market in wireless audio and what you should consider buying.
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
40 MINI TESTS We test out some great new equipment, including the affordable Hollyland wireless video receiver and transmitter kit, a high-tech newmotorised gimbal from tripod giant Manfrotto, the funky 3 Legged Thing video tripod and PNBE field monitor. 44 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SONY A7S III We’ve been using a production version of the new full- frame Sony A7S III for months, so here’s our long-term view on the latest video-focused mirrorless camera. 54 ROTOLIGHT’S AFFORDABLE TITAN The award-winning Titan X2 was just a bit too much for many people, so Rotolight has launched a half-sized version, loaded with the same spec. We test it out in our exclusive hands-on review. 58 VLOGGING LUMIX G100 TESTED The Panasonic vlogger cammay not be your first choice of kit, but it’s a worthy BTS machine, packed with interesting new audio technology. 60 THE FULL-FAT GH5 YOU ALWAYS WANTED Panasonic’s new S5 can be thought of as a full-frame version of the popular GH5S mirrorless camera. It goes large with a full-frame sensor and the body is even It’s the most wonderful time of the year - the giving and receiving of useless gifts! So, we’ve come up with some top equipment that we would love to own instead of socks or sweaters. Go on, treat yourself! 44 smaller than the MFT-sized GH5S! 64 BUYERS’ GUIDE: GIFTS!
you can use the Red Control app on an iOS or Android device through the integrated 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi. Wired control is also possible via the USB Type-C port and optional adapters. The camera comes with the Canon RF lens mount, which also enables compatibility with a range of lenses through the use of optional adapters. The mount will natively support mechanical RF and EF lenses. Using the optional electronic EF-to-RF adapter, the Komodo will support AF on Canon EF-mount lenses. It’s the first Red to offer AF, and the Komodo uses phase detection autofocus with compatible lenses. The touchscreen can be used for changing the focus area. The Komodo comes with integrated stereo microphones and a 3.5mm input for audio, plus genlock/ timecode/GPIO/RS232 support via a nine-pin port and a DC power input. A 12G-SDI port supports up to DCI 4K at 60fps in 10-bit 4:2:2. Located at the rear of the camera, there are dual Canon BP-9 series battery slots, which can be hot-swapped. red.com
Legendary American cinema camera firm Red has revealed the Komodo 6K, its most affordable and compact camera ever. It has a 19.9-megapixel Super 35 sensor and a global shutter, costing just £5940/$5995. The camera has autofocus and accepts Canon RF lenses. Red says it retains all the image quality and colour science of the rest of its far more pricey cameras, but here, they’re packed into an ultra-compact, all-in-one body that weighs just 950g/2.1lb and measures 100x100x100mm/4x4x4in. The sensor produces images with more than 16 stops of dynamic range and eliminates rolling shutter artifacts. It can record up to 6K at 40fps, 5K at 48fps, 4K at 60fps, and 2K at 120fps in 16-bit Redcode Raw for total quality and flexibility in post-production. For faster workflow, the camera can also record in Apple ProRes 422 HQ and 422 with DCI 4K/60p or DCI 2K up to 120fps. It records to a CFast 2.0 card, with data rates up to 280Mbps. A 2.9in touchscreen makes it easy to configure and monitor footage, or
DJI RONIN REDUX!
DJI’s popular Ronin series of motorised gimbals has expanded with the RS 2 and DJI RSC 2, both three-axis, single- handed units. The larger RS 2 is ideal for heavier camera systems, such as DSLR and compact cinema cameras, while the RSC 2 is more portable – perfect for mirrorless cameras. The RS 2 uses carbon fibre in many components, bringing weight down to 1.3kg/2.86lbs, but allowing for a payload of 4.5kg/10lbs. It offers up to 12 hours of battery life. And a new SuperSmooth mode provides extra camera stability, especially for longer focal length lenses of up to 100mm. Axis locks enable easier transportation and fast balancing, while a dual-layer camera mounting plate is compatible with both the Arca-Swiss and Manfrotto standard. There’s also a fine-tune balancing knob that allows for even more precise balancing of the camera payload during filming.
There is a built-in colour touchscreen that can display settings or a live feed from the camera, as well as controlling several intelligent shooting modes. The built-in front dial above the trigger allows for precise focus control. It complements a DJI Focus Wheel mounted on the RSA port to create two-channel focus and zoom. A new folding design makes the smaller RSC 2 easy to carry and means the gimbal can be used for vertical filming. The RSC 2 weighs in at 1.2kg/2.65lbs, 35% less than the original Ronin-S, and has a payload of up to 3kg/6.6lbs. That means it’s burly enough to handle a Panasonic S1H and a 24- 70mm lens. For remote operation, the DJI RS 2 and the RSC 2 can use the ActiveTrack 3.0 systemwhen the optional RavenEye Image Transmission System is connected. This sends a 1080p/30fps low-latency feed to a mobile device,
using the Ronin app from up to 100 metres away. And for manual-focus lenses, the 3D Focus System uses sensors mounted above the camera to provide full autofocus, using the DJI follow focus attachment. The DJI RS 2 is £699/$849 and RSC 2 is £389/$499, although various kits with accessories are also available.
Nikon’s new Z 7II and Nikon Z 6II are the next-generation versions of the flagship Z 7 and Z 6 full-frame mirrorless cameras. Both models are improved versions, rather than completely new, and have the same sensors. But now, they have Nikon’s newest Expeed 6 processors to ‘give faster frame rates and improved AF performance’, according to Nikon. And there are now dual card slots that take one UHS-II SD and one XQD or CFexpress Type-B card. Both cameras can record in 4K/60p or 120fps in HD. They also have N-Log colour, HDR support and can output 4:2:2 10-bit, as well as Raw video, to Atomos recorders. Though, all internal recording is still limited to 4:2:0 8-bit. The £2999/$2997 Z 7II is officially the flagship, but it’s more geared towards high-resolution stills, thanks to its 45.7-megapixel BSI sensor. This has no optical low-pass filter for ultimate detail but comes at the increased risk of moire, especially in video mode. It is capable of 4K/60p recording. The improved AF offers wide- area AF support for humans and animals, subject-tracking and improved AF in lowlight. In addition, the 3690k-dot electronic viewfinder delivers a more natural view, with the high refresh rate reducing blackout. The £1999/$1997 Z 6II is actually more geared towards filmmaking, thanks to its 24.5-megapixel BSI sensor, which does have a low-pass filter. At launch, the camera can deliver an output of 4K/30p, but an upgrade to 4K/60p is promised. Like the Z 7II, it comes with the improved AF system. nikon.co.uk Next- generation Nikons
POCKET POWER The second generation of the tiny DJI Osmo Pocket, now called DJI Pocket 2, has a larger 1/1.7in sensor and a wider 20mm f/1.8 or 16-megapixel mode, respectively. There’s an improved
audio system comprising four microphones, with SoundTrack technology adjusting the audio based on where the camera is facing. Audio Zoom can be used to narrow the sound field when zooming the camera in. Pro Mode can be used to control ISO, shutter speed, EV and focus mode, while ActiveTrack 3.0 lets the user select a subject and the gimbal moves to keep the subject in the frame. With time-lapse, hyper-lapse andmotion-lapse, as well as 180° panoramas and live streaming, the Pocket 2 is a big step up in spec from the original camera. It’s on sale now at £339/$349. dji.com
lens to improve image quality. There’s now a zoom feature and an upgraded AF system. The Pocket 2 has a modular design, with a removable baseplate that enables the attachment of new accessories. Like the original Osmo Pocket, the Pocket 2 can be used as a stand-alone stabilised camera, connected to a smartphone with a dedicated phone connector or operated remotely. Maximum video resolution is 4K/60fps at 100Mbps. As well as that, there’s 8x digital zoomor 4x lossless zoom in 64-megapixel
Tripod tech to compact gimbals!
SHUTTERSTOCK EXPANDS TO EDITORIAL VIDEO Global stock image market Shutterstock has invested in a huge range of editorial video footage, offering premium live and archival video clips, across news, entertainment, sports and fashion. The deal supplements stock video from partners EPA and London Entertainment with footage from Critical Past, Celebrity Footage and Viral Hog. Shutterstock has seen huge growth in its editorial video business from clients who want to buy curated video content. Shutterstock’s latest service uses a simplified model. The system provides licences to clients on a per- clip basis, instead of charging per second or by format. The edtorial video collection adds to Shutterstock’s content library that boasts more than 340 million images and 19 million video clips. shutterstock.com
Tripod giant Benro has invested in a whole new technology thinktank, and the first product to come out of this is the £269/$259 Benro Snoppa VMate, a three-axis gimbal camera. Boffins at the Benro Imaging Lab – a group of designers, engineers and technology experts – combined Benro’s stabiliser know-how with Snoppa’s action film technology to deliver 4K video in a tiny device. The VMate is a tiny gimbal camera with a 90-degree rotating lens. It can shoot vertically for social media or flip horizontally for widescreen filming. A 12-megapixel sensor enables 4K/60p video footage, and there is a dual-mic system, allowing users to choose between noise-cancelling or full stereo sound. The VMate has a small 1.2-inch touchscreen and a built-in mobile phone holder enables smartphones to be used for increased screen size or for remote control of the camera. On board Wi-Fi means phone and camera can connect quickly. Benro has also revealed its new Rhino tripods available in kits with VX ball heads. The four-strong range offers options for travelling and navigating tricky, uneven terrain or working with a complex studio set-up. The smallest tripod weighs just 1.2kg, with a maximum capacity of 10kg, and measures 35cmwhen folded. The largest measures about 170cm at full extension and supports a payload of 20kg, capable of supporting even the bulkiest of camera units. The final new product is the ArcaSmart 70, a unique two-in-one
camera and mobile phone tripod adapter that mounts to any tripod head. This enables filmmakers to switch between full-size digital cameras and mobile phones, quickly and with little fuss. With an Arca-compatible plate and universal three-way quarter- inch 20 screw, the £40/$40 ArcaSmart 70 is compatible with all Arca-style ball heads, three-way heads or gimbal heads and almost all types of DSLR or mirrorless cameras. An integrated spring- loaded clip extends from the adapter to quickly mount a mobile phone. The ArcaSmart 70 also features a cold shoe mount for use of external accessories, such as additional mics or lighting. benroeu.com
IMAGES Benro’s new range includes tripods, a tiny gimbal cam and smart clamping devices
BARGAIN MANTIS MONOPOD The Novo Mantis MP50 monopod is a lightweight, yet heavy duty, carbon-fibre monopod that costs just £99/$110. The six-section legs make the monopod very compact when folded, with a closed length of 413mm/16.3in. At full height, it reaches 1550mm/61in. Split into two sections, the tubed top section measures 32mm/1.26in in diameter, while the bottommeasures 16mm/0.63in. It offers a maximum load of 20kg/44lb. Large twist locks offer firm grip. The monopod is made from eight-layer carbon fibre, with a rubber grip to ensure a firm hold. The rubber foot unscrews to reveal a threaded hole on which Novo’s monopod video stand base can be attached. novo-photo.com
ATEMMini Pro ISOmodel shown.
Introducing ATEMMini The miniaturized television studio for creating presentation videos and live streams!
Live Stream Training and Conferences The ATEM Mini Pro model has a built in hardware streaming engine for live streaming via its ethernet connection. This means you can live stream to YouTube, Facebook and Twitch in much better quality and with perfectly smooth motion. You can even connect a hard disk or flash storage to the USB connection and record your stream for upload later! Edit and Fix Live Streams With the new ATEM Mini Pro ISO model, you can now edit your live show to fix any mistakes or make improvements. You get all video inputs and program recorded as 5 separate video files! Plus a DaVinci Resolve edit timeline is saved, so you can open the live show and make changes with a single click! It only takes a few minutes to edit and upload a perfect version of your show!
ATEM Mini is a whole television studio, miniaturized down into an easy to use solution for creating live multi camera television shows. Simply connect up to4HDMI cameras, computers and evenmicrophones. Then push the buttons on the panel to switch video sources just like a professional broadcaster! You can even add titles, picture in picture overlays and mix audio! Then live stream to Zoom, Skype or YouTube! Create Training and Educational Videos ATEM Mini includes everything you need. All the buttons are positioned on the front panel so it’s very easy to learn. ATEM Software Control is also included for accessing more advanced features! The 4 HDMI inputs allow connecting cameras and computers, plus the USB output works like a webcam for Zoom or Skype. The multiview even allows all cameras to be viewed on a single monitor! Use Professional Video Effects ATEM Mini is really a professional broadcast switcher used by television stations. This means it has professional ef fects such as a DVE for picture in picture ef fects, commonly used for commentating over a computer slide show. There are titles for presenter names, wipe ef fects for transitioning between sources and a green screen keyer for replacing backgrounds with graphics!
ATEMMini ...... US$295 * ATEMMini Pro ...... US$595 * ATEMMini Pro ISO ...... US$895 *
www.blackmagicdesign.com *SRP is exclusive of VAT. Price subject to change.
Firmware boost for Panasonic
Adobe’s latest Premiere Pro editing software now supports ProRes Raw natively, meaning the joint Apple and Atomos Raw video format becomes more available and easy to use. Until now, Adobe Premiere Pro has supported ProRes Raw for Windows users running Nvidia GPUs. Now, all Mac and Windows users are able to edit ProRes Raw video, too. Mac users of Final Cut Pro X already have native support. Unlike in Apple’s own Final Cut Pro X software, Premiere Pro doesn’t offer full control of ISO and white balance settings, but this should arrive in a later update. It does offer ProRes Raw to Log conversion. Now, there are about 20 cameras that record in ProRes Raw, via an Atomos recorder. Improvements in the latest Premiere Pro version 14.5 include HDR workflows in Rec. 2100 PQ colour space, improved hardware decoding when using AMD and Nvidia GPUS and faster audio pre-roll. adobe.com PRORES RAW GOES NATIVE ON PREMIERE PRO
Owners of the Panasonic full-frame S1H, S1R, S1 and S5 models, as well as the latest G100 vlogging cam, can obtain a free firmware upgrade from24 November that includes changes to the autofocus system. The latest firmware for the S1, S1R and S1H includes new autofocus technology and the performance of the new Lumix S5 that we test in this issue. In addition to the eye, face and body, now the head is separately recognised by real-time detection technology. This tracks a person even if they move quickly, turn their head or back to the camera, tilt their head or move away. Additionally, improvements to continuous autofocus enables users to keep tracking small or fast-moving subjects. The AF advancements are available for both photo shooting and video recording. Other improvements include AF during V-Log recording, a red recording indication frame added to S1R and S1 and vertical video playback added to S1H, S1R and S1. 4K video files can now be transferred to a smartphone via Wi-Fi from the S1H, S1R and S1. The monitors of the S1H and S5 can display the images flipped when the free-angle LCDs are rotated and 5K video recording has been added to the S1R. There’s also 10-bit HDR video recording, high-resolution audio recording and dedicatedmenu settings when the DMW- XLR1 microphone adapter has been added. The S1R also benefits from4K 60/50p 4:2:2 10-bit video output over HDMI, while C4K (4096x2160) video has been added to the S5 as well as 12-bit Raw output over HDMI to enable Apple ProRes Raw on Atomos Ninja V. A vector scope display has been added to the S5.
Further updates for the Lumix S1 are expected during the first half of 2021 as firmware 2.0 will allowmanual switching between the Dual Native ISO settings. And for owners who have upgraded to V-Log recording, the firmware unlocks anamorphic mode and timecode function. That’s in addition to 5.9K/C4K and 4K 60/50p 4:2:0 10-bit internal recording and 5.9K/4K/ Anamorphic (4:3) 3.5K 12-bit Raw video via HDMI on an Atomos Ninja V. The Lumix G100 is now compatible with the LumixWebcam software and the G100monitor can display the images flipped, when the free- angle LCD is rotated. panasonic.com
Rode’s VideoMic NTG is now certified for use with Lightning- equipped iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad and iPod via a new Rode Lightning Accessory Cable, the SC15. If you already have a VideoMic NTG, you need to update the firmware to use the microphone with iOS devices before the cable will function. It’s yet another use for the VideoMic NTG, which can be used on top of a camera or, thanks to its USB-C audio output, can be plugged into a computer, tablet or smartphone and used as a full-featured USBmicrophone. In our mini test review of the mic last issue, we reported there was no battery level warning on the mic. While there’s no battery percentage or icon displayed, the power LED changes colour and flashes to give an indication of remaining power. rode.com RODE’S LIGHTNING-FAST UPGRADE
Filmmaker, colourist, educator, influencer… Ollie Kenchington wears many hats. We question him about the most unusual year ever
PM: How did you manage to survive through the tough times financially? OK: “We qualified for the government’s small business grant scheme. We already received small business rate relief for the studio we lease, and that was pretty much the only criteria needed in order to get access to this £10k grant. It was really simple to apply for, and the money was in the bank within a matter of weeks. The money massively helped our cashflow, at a time where the only money coming in was from online training. “The teamwho run the co-working space where our office is have been really helpful throughout. It was themwho brought the government grant scheme to my attention and assisted me with applying for it.” OK: “I’ve spent a huge amount of time with my kids and discovered numerous local trails for walking, running and mountain biking that I never even realised existed! In fact, the whole notion of community and working outside of London (I’m based PM: Has this unusual year made you rethink any of your plans? in Somerset) has been the highlight of 2020 for me. Before, I’d spend a couple of days each week in London, which I do still miss, but it’s been lovely to reconnect with my immediate surroundings and I’ll be making further efforts in the future to work with more clients who are situated in my local area. “I am planning to put more energy in to Just Grade It going forward, as it is a truly global platform that is placed perfectly to fit in to a more cost conscious and remote approach to colour-grading. Korro Academy will have all its courses available online by the end of this year and, with recent upgrades to our studio, Korro Films is now better placed to create content without the need to travel so extensively.”
Pro Moviemaker: How’s business? Ollie Kenchington: I run three businesses and the effects of Covid-19 have been different for each one. Korro Films is a corporate production agency and, therefore, has bore the brunt of the pandemic. We were unable to shoot anything for three months so, needless to say, I was unable to rely on any income from that side of the business. Our editor went freelance back in February, and we were in the process of interviewing replacements when this all began. We paused that recruitment process in March and I don’t intend to restart the search until next year, despite filmwork picking up considerably since July. Korro Films is now pretty much back up to the same level of activity as before lockdown, though I’d say budgets are definitely smaller than they were. “My training business, Korro Academy, began shifting all of its classroom-based training courses online a few years ago. Much like the decline of high street sales in retail, the pandemic has simply hastened the downturn of face-to-face teaching. Fortunately, I was already set up in my studio for Zoom training and webinars, and I ended up delivering more than 40 hours of live streams over lockdown. I also managed to squeeze in filming my latest colour-grading course for mzed.com at the start of March, so editing that kept me busy throughout lockdown and, sales of that course, and indeed all my courses on MZed, have been very strong this year. “Just Grade It, the colour-grading platform I launched in February, is also picking up now, which is a huge relief. It got off to a flying start, adding 100 new members in just six weeks. Because of the delayed effect on post-production, we were still grading for our clients well into May, before it all ground to a halt. It is now ramping up again, fortunately.”
ABOVE Ollie Kenchington juggles filmmaking production with editing and education. This approach has kept him busy in lockdown PM: What advice would you offer to any filmmaking businesses or freelancers at the current time? OK: “It’s sad that freelancers have been hit so hard by all this. I feel terrible for all the young filmmakers who thought 2020 was going to be their year to set up and begin a career as a freelance creative. However, while any recession brings difficulties, there are also plenty of opportunities for those who are proactive and innovative. “Before, there were so many people out there, competing for the same jobs, who had no idea what they were doing. Times like these really shine a spotlight on the individuals who have genuine skill and determination. Those whose heart was never really into filmmaking, or thought work would simply fall in their laps, they will all fall by the wayside in circumstances like these. The ones who spent lockdown learning everything they could about cameras, sound, lighting or post-production, determined to hit the ground running when work ramped up again, those are the ones that stand a much better chance of succeeding, perhaps even more so than if Covid-19 had never come along and separated the wheat from the chaff.”
“Times like these really shine a spotlight on the individuals who have genuine skill and determination”
GEAR OF THE YEAR
The annual ProMoviemaker Awards celebrate the best kit you can buy – and is voted for by real filmmakers like you GEAR OF THE YEAR VOTE FOR YOUR…
I t may have been a year like no products that have made a big difference to the lives of professional filmmakers. Business and life itself may have changed, but the use of well-designed and groundbreaking technology continues to make the life of a filmmaker easier. Honouring the products and companies behind themwho make impressive hardware and software has always been what the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards are all about. Now in their fourth other thanks to the global Covid-19 pandemic, but there has still been great new technology and proven
We’re calling on you to cast your vote for the equipment and services that have made a significant difference to the way you work. Your vote is vital in deciding which equipment should be recognised and honoured. Last year, we introduced six Editor’s Choice awards for equipment we felt deserved special recognition in the following key categories: Mirrorless Cameras, Cinema Cameras, Audio, Support, Lighting and Special Innovation. We’re doing the same this year, so check out what’s shortlisted and have your say by voting today!
year, the awards recognise the best gear by the people who use it – you! Again we have seen lots of new camera launches in the past year, and these remain the stars of the show, where lots of new technology has seen great leaps forward. But everything from lenses to filters, stabilisers, audio and software have also seen great strides. The editorial team and gear testers of Pro Moviemaker magazine have pulled together a shortlist of some of the best kit around. But it’s the readers of Pro Moviemaker who are the most vital part of the judging process.
AWARDS GEAR OF THE YEAR
CAMERAS Every single category of cameras has seen significant new launches
offers lots of the same spec but at roughly half the price and a lot less bulk. And using the same Leica L-Mount as the Panasonics, Sigma’s full-frame fp offers a super-compact body that shoots Raw. Add in Nikon’s Z 6, which is gaining ground, too, and it’s been a bumper year for the full-frame mirrorless fan. Smaller sensor cameras winning lots of praise, as well as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, which uses a Canon mountw for a huge choice of optics. And of course it offers 6K resolution and internal Raw recording. And the MFT Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III boasts lots of spec from the flagship E-M1X sports camera, but in a much smaller body and at a lower price. It’s a lot of camera for the money. It seemed that for years there were no major launches in the DSLR also made waves, with Fujifilm’s APS-C X-T4
in the past year, fromDLSR to mirrorless, cinema cameras and more. We’ve seen even more full- frame models, the development of in-camera Raw recording and the race for resolution continues to show no sign of slowing, with relatively affordable cameras up to 12K coming on to the market. Once again the slice of the market that has seen the greatest impact has been mirrorless cameras, fromMicro Four Thirds right through to full-frame. After a five-year wait, finally the long- awaited Sony A7S III was revealed. But it was Canon that stole many of the headlines, with its EOS R5 offering internal Raw Light recording and 8K resolution – the highest on the market. Panasonic wasn’t far behind with the filmmaking-focused 5.9K S1H full-frame camera becoming a firm favourite with moviemakers, and this was followed by the S5, which
IMAGES Full- frame cameras proved popular, from Sony’s A7S III (above) and FX9 (below) to the Panasonic S1H
GEAR OF THE YEAR
and at a price that undercut the rival 5.9K Canon EOS C500 Mark II significantly – but at only 4K output and with no internal Raw recording. Kinefinity hit the market with the full-frame Mavo LF, while the Panasonic EVA1 and Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K G2 gained popularity thanks to amazing spec, affordability and great performance. And in the camcorder category, where live streaming’s acceptance was only accelerated by the pandemic and lockdown, the cameras continue to offer even higher resolution, big sensors, great audio and more robust codecs. JVC is one of the pioneers of live streaming and the HC500 and HC900 sold in big numbers, as did Canon’s flagship XF705 and Sony’s Z190 and Z280, while Panasonic’s compact CX10 offers an incredible spec in a small package that is ideal for users from beginners to professionals.
market, but this year Canon came out swinging with the radical new EOS-1D X Mark III and Nikon with the D6 and D780. The affordable D780 was a huge benefit for Nikon users, while the flagship D6 sports camera upped the spec even more. But it was Canon’s EOS-1D X Mark III that really pushed the boat out for filmmakers, with 12-bit internal 4K Raw recording, very fast frame rates and intelligent AF. In the cinema camera category, it was also a big year with new cameras from Canon and Sony having an impact. Canon got the ball rolling with the full-frame EOS C500 Mark II with internal Raw Light recording, a newmodular body and very high-spec codecs. This was then followed by the Canon EOS C300 Mark III – the same body and very similar spec, but using a new Super 35 sensor with Dual Gain Output technology. And Sony’s FX9 brought a more affordable full-frame cinema camera to the market with its clever hybrid AF system, fast frame rates
ABOVE The Canon EOS
R5 mirrorless camera set a new high with 8K recording
Sony A7S III Fujifilm X-T4 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Panasonic S1H
Panasonic S5 Canon EOS R5
IMAGES From the tiny Sigma fp to Blackmagic PCC6K and JVC HC500, there’s a huge variety of great cameras
Nikon Z 6 Sigma fp
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Marshall CV380-CS
SLR Canon EOS 5DMark IV Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Nikon D6
Nikon D850 Nikon D780
JVC HC500 JVC HC900 Sony Z190 Sony Z280 Canon XF705 Panasonic CX10
Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K G2
Canon EOS C500 Mark II Canon EOS C300 Mark III Panasonic EVA1 Sony FX9 Kinefinity Mavo LF
GEAR OF THE YEAR
Zoom lens Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 T FujinonMKX 18-55mmT2.9 Fujinon Premista 19-45mmT2.9 Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Nikon AF-S 120-300mm Anamorphic/i Special Flare Sigma 18-35mmT2 Cine Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DGDN Art Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DGDN Art Sony FE C 16-35mmT3.1 G Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Cooke 35-140mm Panasonic Lumix S Pro 70-200mm f/2.8 OIS Prime lens Zeiss CP.3 XD 50mmT2.1 Canon Sumire Prime CN-E50mmT1.3 FP Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DGHSMArt Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary L-Mount Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM Samyang Xeen CF 50mmT1.5 Irix Cine 150mmT3.0Macro Irix Cine 15mmT2.6 Zeiss Supreme Prime Radiance 21mmT1.5 Tokina Firin 20mm f/2 FE AF Cooke 50mmAnamorphic/i T2.3 Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct FujifilmXF50mm f/1.0 RWR Lens accessories SLRMagic Anamorphot adapter Formatt-Hitech Firecrest ND Schneider-Kreuznach True-Streak filter PolarPro Peter McKinnon Sirui 50mm f/1.8 Anamorphic 1.33x Samyang AF 35mm f/1.8 FE Tiny Series Samyang 50mm T1.5 VDSLRMark II
LENSES FromDSLRs andmirrorless cameras to full-blown cinema cameras, the one thing they all have in common
to impress with its growing range of cine lenses, like the 150mm T3.0Macro. And of course the big independents like Zeiss, Cooke, Sigma, Tokina and Tamron have some incredible offerings. Zoom lenses give more flexibility despite their smaller maximum aperture, but the new breed of mirrorless lens mounts mean even faster zooms than ever have started to come on to the market, as well as more image-stabilised glass. Cine zooms are parfocal and have little focus breathing, but DSLR or mirrorless lenses have autofocus and often image stabilisation. And it’s not just about the lenses but the accessories that canmake a huge difference to your filmmaking experience or results. Once again, Vocas continues tomake some amazing rigs and kit – so it’s no surprise the MFC-2S follow focus is in the shortlist. Filters are essential buys and the Formatt-Hitech Firecrest ND, Schneider-Kreuznach True Streak filter andmore affordable Hoya ProND Graduated filters are in the shortlist, as well as the PolarPro Peter McKinnon Edition VND filter, which has taken the vlogging world by storm.
IMAGES From Nikon’s F-mount 120-300mm zoom to Fujinon’s 18-55mm and Canon’s new RF 70-200mm, it’s a great time to be buying glass
is interchangeable lenses, which is something that makes a huge difference to your films. Lenses are the purchases that offer real long- term value. With the emergence of the Canon RFmount, Leica L-Mount and Nikon Zmount for full-frame mirrorless cameras as well as Sony continuing to expand its E-mount range, there are new lenses coming on to the market all the time. Many filmmakers love prime lenses for the unique look of the images, tactile feel and fast maximum aperture to give a shallow depth-of-field. There are lots of AF primes, but many filmmakers love the feel of proper manual-focus cine lenses for a lack of focus breathing and precise focus. And as there seems to be no slowing down in the interest in shooting anamorphic, the incredibly affordable Sirui 50mm f/1.8 Anamorphic 1.33x has been a smash hit worldwide. Samyang’s redesigned Xeen range, now available in carbon fibre, has been a popular buy, while Irix continues
Edition VND filter Sigma TC-1411 1.4x L-Mount teleconverter
Hoya ProND graduated filters Vocas MFC-2S follow focus MFT Fuji MK lens to Canon RF mount adapter
GEAR OF THE YEAR
Everything from sturdy tripods and fluid heads to high-techmotorised gimbals, sliders andmore, these are essential bits of kit. It’s the place where innovation is always rife, with new features and concepts all the time. And of course fierce competition has seen prices of some things drop. You can buy a lot of motorised gimbal for a few hundred pounds nowadays, for example. The tripod is at the very heart of a filmmaker’s kit and, of course, there is no one perfect tripod. Some are large and ideal for large cinema cameras, others smaller andmore portable so are ideal for mirrorless rigs, and there is a huge range of prices to suit all budgets. Sachtler’s innovation seems to know no bounds and the Flowtech 75 tripod is proof of that, thanks to its flat carbon-fibre legs and speedy set up. But it’s a big tripod ideal for large cameras, while at the other end of the scale is Manfrotto’s Befree Live is made for small cameras on location. Sirui is a big entrant into the tripodmarket with its range of new sets of legs to suit a range of cameras, while Benro, Libec, E-Image andManfrotto continue to offer great-value tripods with innovative features. If you thought sliders had reached the pinnacle of design, then think again. Kenro’s Double Distance Slider and Edelkrone’s Wing show innovation is far fromover. This is one category where clever engineering and designmake a real difference to the products you buy. In terms of rigs, some of the most forward-thinking companies quickly get to grips with the newest cameras on the market, which is why there are nominations for the Vocas Sony FX9 Basic kit, Shape A7S III shoulder mount, Zacuto Red Komodo cage, Tilta TA-T09 Sigma fp rig and a Red-fit 8Sinn cage. And in handheld stabilisers, there are somany great ones to choose from, but we singled out the all- in-one DJI Osmo Pocket as well as DJI Ronin-SC, GlidecamHD-Pro, GudsenMoza Aircross, Manfrotto Gimbal 460 kit and Zhiyun Crane 3S Pro Director kit.
Tripod system Sirui BCT-3203 video kit Sirui BCT-2203 video kit Manfrotto MVK502C-1 Pro Video Carbon System Manfrotto Befree Live Libec TH-Z T Benro A373FBS6PRO Velbon DV-7000N Sachtler 4585 Flowtech 75 MS Kenro Twin Tube video kit E-Image GH06 GC752 kit Monopod Manfrotto XPRO four-section Libec HFMP kit Steadicam AIR-25 Benro A48FDS4 aluminiummonopod kit Kenro Video monopod kit (carbon fibre) Slider Kenro Double Distance slider Hague Camera Supports Camslide Edge Hague Camera Supports S800 Camslide Ikan SLD-31 Syrp Magic Carpet Long Slider kit Libec ALX S4 Kessler Cineslider 3ft Rhino Ultimate Slider bundle Edelkrone SliderOne v2 Edelkrone Wing Kessler Pocket Dolly 3 Standard Rig Vocas Sony FX9 Run & Gun kit Shape A7SIII shoulder mount Zacuto Red Komodo cage with Kameleon Pro EVF SmallRig 3009 Master kit Tilta TA-T09 Sigma fp rig Blackmagic Ursa Mini Shoulder kit 8Sinn cage for Red Komodo Stabiliser/gimbal DJI Osmo Pocket DJI Ronin-SC GlidecamHD-Pro Gudsen Moza Aircross Manfrotto Gimbal 460 kit Zhiyun Crane 3S Pro Director kit
SARAMONIC ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
Following nominations in all audio categories in our GOTY awards, we shine a spotlight on the Saramonic Blink 500 series and Vmic Mini S aramonic produces a wide range of professional audio equipment that caters for all levels of production, frombloggers to broadcast. With a Sounds like awinner
range that includes on-camera wiredmics, audiomixers and wireless transmitters/ receiver systems, there is everything you need to capture crystal-clear audio. Go lightly The Blink 500 series is one of Saramonic’s finest offerings. The featherweight wireless microphone systemdelivers broadcast-quality sound, designed for use with cameras andmobiles. The system can handle two wireless transmitters dependent onmodel, with six models on offer, from the Blink 500 B1 to Blink 500 B6. The Blink 500models are ideal for everyone from vloggers to filmmakers, delivering crystal-clear, broadcast-quality sound in a tiny, portable yet robust package. The system is a receiver and up to two transmitters. The mics can be handheld, slipped into a pocket, placed on an out- of-sight surface, or used as a lavalier microphone as an added option. When it comes to set-up, things couldn’t be easier. You can be up and running without any frustrating delays, nomatter what camera system you are using. Simply take the Blink 500 out of the box, mic-up, turn on and it will do the rest. Not only that, but it will automatically balance the feed when working with two transmitters. Whatever your preferred workflow, the Blink 500 is flexible. Compatibility with DSLR andmirrorless cameras is a natural step, but it can even be used with a smartphone, using either Android or iOS. This ultimate convenience means you will never have tomiss a moment of the action due to poor sound again. The systemoperates over a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi frequency, a global standard,
ABOVE The Blink 500 (B2) models feature a receiver and up to two transmitters
“The Blink 500models are ideal for vloggers and filmmakers, delivering crystal-clear sound”
cable, audio is improved dramatically. The all-metal body is also finely designed: perfectly sized for use with DSLR and smaller mirrorless bodies and not too large for mobile devices. With no batteries to install or charge, no buttons or switches to operate, the Vmic Mini is plug-and-play. One standout feature of the Vmic Mini design is the unique microphone shock mount. This integrated element is robust and sleek, for a stable design. Another strong draw is the advanced and uniquely designed bullet-like windscreen. It features a sturdy gasket, which aids in blocking wind noise, helps protect the microphone with a level of weather- resistance and keeps the whole package securely fastened in place while on the go. For mounting options on cages, boom poles, tripods andmore, the Vmic Mini’s built-in locking camera shoe features a metal 1/4-20 tripod thread at the base. Two output cables are included, for connectivity with cameras as well as smartphones and tablets via the headphone jack. For those demanding professional audio but restricted by budget, there’s really no compromise with the Saramonic Vmic Mini Compact Condenser Video Mic. Whatever your existing set-up and whatever your need, you won’t be disappointed.
meaning it can be used worldwide without any licensing issues or interference with other systems. Utilising 24-bit/48KHz resolution, Blink 500models capture high- quality audio over a distance of 50m and will automatically switch channels to avoid static noise and audio dropouts. The GOTY-nominated B1 and its sibling, the B2, are designed for those with a slightly more advanced set-up, primarily shooting with a DSLR or mirrorless system. The receiver on eachmodel is powered by a built-in rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, offering reliable performance. Connection is a 3.5mm jack, though bothmodels are still compatible with smartphones, voice recorders and other audio devices. The Blink B3, B4, B5 and B6 on the other hand are designed primarily for mobile devices. The former two connect via Lightning port while the latter use USB-C. What we’re left with in the Blink 500 system is a portable yet powerful wireless solution, ideal for a wide range of video creatives seeking a system that won’t slow themdown. Both barrels The Saramonic Vmic Mini Compact Condenser Video Mic is the second in a handful of nominations for the brand. Much like the Blink 500models, this mini shotgun is compact, lightweight, widely compatible and of supreme high quality. Whenmounted directly on a DSLR, mirrorless or other video camera, the Vmic Mini allows users to capture professional, broadcast-ready sound. When connected to a smartphone or tablet via the included
ABOVE Good audio is critical for top-quality productions and Saramonic has a range of solutions to help
AWARDS GEAR OF THE YEAR
the look of your work. From large and fully customisable, high-tech lights such as the Rotolight Titan X2, right the way down to the Aputure Accent B7C, which replaces household bulbs, and everything in between, lights are definitely a key component in filmmaking. So vote for your choice. With cameras spitting out data at ever-faster rates, memory cards and hard drives have had to evolve to keep up. With new types of memory cards, such as CFexpress Type A, and innovative hard drives with amazing security tech, there is a glut of great products that deserve to be honoured.
The cases and bags of filmmakers are not just home to cameras and lenses, but are packed with all sorts of accessories that are simply essential when working professionally. From the bags and cases themselves to hard drives, lighting, monitors, memory cards and software, these are often the unsung heroes of the professional. So it’s time to honour these must- buy accessories. Some accessories aren’t just there to make your life easier, but can actually improve the final quality of your movies. Monitor/ recorders are one such accessory, where the large screen not only helps you get everything right during the take, but can unlock more quality from your camera. And of course one place it’s vital to spend wisely is in lighting as this –more than just about anything else – will have a huge impact on
IMAGES From lighting to memory cards, monitors, bags and mics, filmmakers can’t go wrong with the products we have shortlisted
Monitor and/or recorders Atomos Ninja V Small HD 702 Focus Small HD Cine 7 Red kit Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR 7in Light panels Creamsource Vortex 8 Rotolight Titan X2 Rotolight Anova Pro 2 Nanguang Nanlite Mixpad 27 Litepanel Gemini 2x1
Fiilex Matrix II RGBW punch light Nanlite Forza 60 Aputure LS 600D Lighting innovation Aputure Accent B7c
Sandisk Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 128GB External hard drives Samsung SSD X5 Samsung SSDT7 Touch 1TB G-Technology ArmorLock SSD 2TB
Manfrotto Prolight Reloader Tough-55 Tamrac Speedroller International Think Tank Airport Security V3.0 Camrade Travelmate 360 Peli 1607 Air Case Tenba Cineluxe Roller 21 HPRC 2700W case for FX9 Backpack/holdall Benro FN400BK Falcon 400 Think Tank Mindshift Photocross 15 Think Tank Urban Access Backpack Think Tank Video Workhorse 19 Vanguard Veo Range 38 messenger Crumpler Triple A Camera Sling 8000 Manfrotto Pro Light Cinematic Balance backpack Tenba Cineluxe Shoulder Bag 24 Lowepro Pro Trekker BP 450 AW II
RGBWW LED Aputure MC RGBWW film light Westcott 7633 Flex Cine Daylight Creamsource Vortex 8 Memory cards PNY Elite-X SDXC 512GB Delkin XQD 240GB Delkin CFast 2.0 256GB Delkin Power SDXC 128GB Sony Tough SDXC 128GB Sony XQD G Series 120GB Sony CFexpress Type A Tough 160GB Samsung Evo Plus microSDXC 512GB Lexar CFexpress Type B 512GB Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC UHS-II 128GB Sandisk Extreme Pro CFexpress Type B 128GB
G-Technology ArmorATD 4TB Sandisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD 2TB Lacie Rugged SSD Pro 1TB Thunderbolt 3 Lacie Rugged Boss SSD 1TB Lacie 1big Dock SSD Pro 2TB Lexar SL200 Portable SSD 1TB Lexar Pro SL100 SSD 1TB Editing software
Litepanels Astra 6X Bi-colour 1x1
Aputure Nova P300c Arri Skypanel S60-C F&V Z400S LED Westcott 7633
Flex Cine Daylight Kino Flo Freestyle T44 Gaffer LED DMX kit Hard lights Westcott Solix Litepanels Sola 4+ Daylight fresnel Ledgo 120W LED fresnel
Adobe Premiere Pro Avid Media Composer Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16 Apple Final Cut Pro X Sony Vegas Open Broadcaster Software Studio
Lupo Day LED 2000 Broncolor LED F160
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