Get the best from your motorised stabiliser GIMBALTIPS ANDTRICKS
ULTIMATE AUDIO KIT
How choosing unusual lenses can really pay off
Put together a compact system that really works
@ProMoviemaker www.promoviemaker.net £5.49
Tested: Smallrig camera cage for the Sony A7S III and a speedy new tripod
WE RATE THREE VERY DIFFERENT NEW CAMERAS FROM CANON, SONY AND BLACKMAGIC
Last chance to enter our annual awards, honouring the best kit MAKEYOUR VOTE COUNT SIMPLY THE BEST!
Stay on the right side of the law with the latest UAV rules DRONE GAOL! FLIGHT CLUB
BRAW upgrade for Nikon mirrorless Hollyland’s twin mic kit revealed Sigma’s compact mirrorless primes
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
Editor in chief Adam Duckworth Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Sub editor Elisha Young Junior sub editor Jack Nason EDITORIAL ADVERTISING Group ad manager Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 email@example.com Senior sales executive Jemma Farrell-Shaw firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Design manager Alan Gray Senior designer Lucy Woolcomb Designers Man-Wai Wong and Emma Di’Iuorio PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck MEDIA SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS OF:
IMAGE Audio controls are a big bonus of cinema cams, but it’s their form factor that impresses some clients
We’d all like to think it’s the quality of our work that gets us hired. Use of composition and lighting, technical skills as well as knowledge of codecs and post-processing, with sublime grading skills. Andmastery of audio, sound design, editing, SFX and graphics. All, of course, with the end result of telling a compelling story. Whether it’s a tear- jerking documentary, dramatic narrative drama good enough to win an Oscar, a polished product advertisement that sees sales rocket, an award-winning pop video that’s an MTV smash or social media masterpiece for a commercial client that goes viral. The reality is these are the things that will get you hired again and again, by people who recognise quality, expertise and creative skill. Repeat business is the lifeblood of independent filmmakers and production companies. However, to get repeat business, you need to attract new business. And while an impressive showreel might get you a foot through the door and even a first shoot booked, first impressions on the shoot domatter. Especially if your client is a marketer or business owner, as is often the case for small production companies and filmmakers. And while we all know great movies can be shot on iPhones or compact cameras, the sad state of affairs is that turning up on a shoot with anything less than what a client sees as a ‘professional’ camera does not go down well. Most aren’t impressed by filmmakers with a mirrorless camera or DSLR, like their YouTuber mates might have. Time and again clients are mesmerised by a motorised gimbal, a drone, a seven-inch external monitor on a camera, lights in big softboxes and, most of all, by a real cinema camera. Until recently, using an affordable cinema camera could put you at a disadvantage. Despite the pros of cinema cams, the majority had smaller sensors that aren’t great at combating noise, no IBIS to take out the shakes, basic autofocus that can’t track moving subjects and certainly not faces, plus pedestrian frame rates. But now, these features – andmore – are available in cinema cameras that are within the reach of professional filmmakers, such as the Sony FX6 and Canon EOS C70, which we test in this issue. Or the 12K shooting of the Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 12K, with its incredibly filmic 4K recording and internal Raw capture. The new breed of cinema cameras has all the latest high-tech features and image quality of topmirrorless cameras, but with the on-set presence and kudos you’ll never get with a smaller camera. It’s time to take a look at the newest tech to see if it can give your business a much-needed boost. And relegate your mirrorless camera to gimbal use. You can even think of it as a long-termmarketing investment, but one that delivers an increase in quality to your films. And that makes them all pretty special.
Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ
Pro Moviemaker is published bimonthly 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
JAN/FEB 2021 CONTENTS
AGENDA 6 SIGMA’S MIRRORLESS LENS TRIO
The Japanese lens giant reveals a set of super-compact prime lenses for mirrorless cameras that are affordable and have a cool, retro look. Plus new audio kit from Hollyland and Rycote is revealed. 8 DRONE RULES SHAKE-UP It’s nowmuch easier to get a licence to fly a drone commercially – as long as it’s in a certain category. We go through the minefield of the new UK rules to check out what’s best for independent filmmakers.
GOTY! 11 LAST CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR SAY
The voting closes soon in the annual Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards, where the very best hardware and software is honoured by real filmmakers. Have your say!
ACADEMY 20 MASTER YOUR MOTORISED GIMBAL
Getting awesome shots from your gimbal takes practice, planning and good technique. We show you how it can be done to create real cinematic effect and look at some of the coolest new equipment and accessories that can make a difference. AUDIO 26 PUTTING TOGETHER A COMPLETE AUDIO KIT From a shotgun mic to using two wireless lavaliers to record an interview, we assemble a formidable yet compact sound system that offers top-quality audio in an affordable package. Then we give you tips on how to best use it.
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
GEAR 31 AWESOME OPTICAL OPTIONS!
There is a whole world of unusual lenses, at all sorts of budgets, that can bring a creative and very different look to your films. We try out some of the most unusual to see how they work and whether you should give them a go. 36 MINI TESTS We test out some great new equipment, including the affordable Smallrig camera cage for the most popular mirrorless camera of the moment, Sony’s A7S III. And there’s also a super-speedy Manfrotto Fast tripod. 40 CANON’S UNUSUAL EOS C70 Canon goes back to the drawing board with this all-new cinema camera that has a very different form factor. With great 4K, impressive Dual Pixel AF and some of the handling quirks of a DSLR, it’s a real hybrid that delivers. 46 HAIL THE KING OF RESOLUTION! While many are still getting their heads around managing a 4K workflow, Blackmagic Design rolls out a 12K monster in the form of the Ursa Mini Pro 12K cinema camera. We test the ultimate high-resolution machine. 54 SONY’S SPECIAL FX! With a full-frame sensor, all the funky high-tech features of the latest mirrorless cam and a price that’s within the grasp of many filmmakers, Sony’s FX6 is the cinema camera that might just be a smash hit. 63 BUYERS’ GUIDE: TRIPODS AND MONOPODS From large, broadcast-style tripods to lightweight carbon-fibre sticks and even a Gorillapod, check out some of the wise buys in camera support equipment.
Sigma unveils trioofmirrorless prime lenses
groups, with three aspherical lenses and one Special Low Dispersion optic. A seven-blade rounded diaphragm has an aperture ring that closes the lens down from f/3.5 to f/22. The lens has a focus-mode switch and supports DMF and AF+MF on Sony E only. The stepper-motor is compatible with high-speed autofocus. A close focus of just 10.8cm/4.3in gives 1:2 magnification. At £550/$639, the 35mm f/2 lens has ten elements in nine groups, featuring SLD glass and three aspherical lenses. The minimum focus distance is 27cm/10.6in. It measures 70×65.4mm/2.8×2.6in and weighs 325g/11.5oz. The £650/$699 65mm f/2 has 12 elements in nine groups, 1 SLD glass and 2 aspherical lenses with a nine-bladed aperture, that goes from f2 to f22. At 72×74.7mm/2.8×2.9in and 405g/14.3oz, it’s still very light. sigma-imaging-uk.com
Sigma’s three new additions to its Contemporary range are ideal for
filmmakers using mirrorless cameras. The new I series of full-frame premium compact primes are designed for Sony E-mount, as well as L-Mount for Panasonic, Sigma and Leica. The range already offers a 45mm lens. They are built solidly and use a compact, all-metal body with a brass mount. The retro-style design has ribbed manual aperture and fly-by-wire manual focus rings, but can be used with autofocus on compatible cameras. The front element is fixed, so it’s ideal for screw-in filters. Even the lens cap is metal and sticks to the lens magnetically. There is also an optional £20/$20 carrier that hooks on to a belt or bag to hold the lens cap when the camera is in use. The 24mm f/3.5 lens, at £480/$549, is just 64x48.8mm/2.5×1.9in and weighs just 225g/7.9oz. It features ten elements in eight
RYCOTE GETSWELL CONNECTED
The issue of how to mount audio kit to booms and stands has been tackled by Rycote with the launch of its PCS system of quick release stands and grips. Designed for boom operators, sound recordists and audio engineers in the field, studio or at live events, the range is designed to allow the mounting of microphones and accessories safely and quickly without any need for adapters. The heart of the system is the boom connector, which was the range’s first offering and remains the flagship quick-release to attach mics to boom poles. This is now joined by a whole range of quick-release fittings, including a spigot to fasten a mic to a light stand. The system also includes a range of small articulating arms, multipurpose clamps and audio stands in a range of sizes. rycote.com
HOLLYLAND’S TWIN MIC SOLUTION Hollyland continues to innovate in wireless technology, with the launch of the new Lark 150 audio system. It uses two very small audio transmitters that both have omnidirectional mics built in, or you can use the included lavalier mic. These transmitters send their signal up to 100m to the receiver, which sits on the camera’s hotshoe and plugs into the audio port. Similar to Apple AirPods, both transmitters and the receiver fit inside a portable charging case. The kit costs £312/$329 and is on sale now. hollyland-tech.com
BLACKMAGIC RAWCOMES TO NIKONS Nikon’s Z 7 and Z 6 range of full-frame mirrorless cameras can now output Raw video to Blackmagic Design monitors and recorders via a free firmware update. This allows recording in ProRes Raw and Blackmagic Raw with footage in 12-bit 4K or Full-HD Raw outputted via HDMI. ProRes Raw recorded to Atomos Ninja V is also compatible with the latest ISO settings and colour temperature control features added to Apple’s Final Cut Pro X Version 10.4.9 and later. Support for Raw video output to Blackmagic’s external recorder can be enabled on cameras that have already been upgraded for Raw video by updating the firmware, with no need for an additional service at a Nikon facility. If a camera has not undergone the purchasable Raw upgrade, this needs to be done at a Nikon service centre. Blackmagic Raw is an ideal Raw file for users of DaVinci Resolve as it does not yet support ProRes Raw natively. The Nikon Z 6 and Z 7, in both Mark I and Mark II guises, join Sigma’s fp as the only cameras that can support Blackmagic Raw over HDMI. nikon.com
Radical revamp for UKdrone laws
New UK drone laws mean it is now far easier and cheaper for independent filmmakers to acquire the qualifications that allow them to fly most consumer-type camera drones legally. Until January 2021, to use any drone for commercial use in the UK, such as professional filmmaking, you had to get a formal qualification called Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This took significant training and involved passing a theory and flying exam. But new rules are aimed at bringing the UK in line with lots of other European nations. This means commercial operation can be carried out legally without passing the PfCO test, depending on the weight and performance of the drone, the type of work being done and level of risk. It makes drone use for commercial filmmaking cheaper and easier in most cases. And you can also legally fly closer to people in many situations. But of course, the rules are still relatively complex. Most drones are to be classified in C0 to C4 categories, depending on factors like weight, and are going to be permitted to operate in the new ‘Open’ category. This includes aircraft that weigh less than 25kg, fly lower than 120m/400ft and remain in the operator’s line of sight. Drones can be flown higher than this with the relevant permission. The Open category consists of various sub- categories. There’s the A1 class for drones that weigh less than 250g and can’t be flown over groups of people. The A2 class is for drones under 4kg. These can fly a minimum of 30m away from people who aren’t involved with the shoot, or five metres in low-speed mode. The A3 class is ideal for flying drones in areas that are clear of bystanders. This rules out residential, commercial or industrial areas.
So, clearly the A2 class is the most interesting for independent filmmakers. It includes most drones available commercially that come with cameras, from companies like DJI or Yuneec. To fly legally, you don’t need to pass the full PfCO test, but you do need to have completed the A2 Certificate of Competency (CofC) training. This costs about £250, around a quarter of the price of full commercial drone training. The A2 CofC course can be completed online and covers various bits of theory, such as the basic principles of flight, operating in congested areas, how to avoid collisions, battery safety and environmental factors. After the A2 CofC Training course, you have to complete some practical flight training, either with a registered drone training company or under self-monitored circumstances. Following that, there is a short multiple-choice test with 30 questions. The main difference from the PfCO is that there is no flight assessment and no need to write an operations manual. The CofC qualification lasts for five years before you need to renew. For more advanced use of larger drones, there is also the new GVC qualification, which is similar to the older PfCO system. caa.co.uk
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GEAR OF THE YEAR
Don’t miss the final chance to have a say in the ProMoviemaker Awards, honouring the very best in equipment and software GEAR OF THE YEAR? WHAT’S YOUR CHOICE OF…
T he votes have been flooding in, but there’s still time for you to have your say in the annual Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards, which close on 12 February. It’s the world’s highest-profile recognition for filmmaking equipment where all the winners are decided by you – real professionals who use the kit every day. The awards have always been about recognising new technology and proven products that make a big difference to the working lives of filmmakers. Where groundbreaking technology and great design work in perfect harmony to
Pro Moviemaker , but it is the readers who carry out the crucial role of voting. As always, we are calling on you to cast your vote for the equipment and services that have made your work just that bit easier or better. Your vote is vital in deciding the equipment that should be honoured. Just like last year, we are also running six Editor’s Choice awards for equipment we feel deserves special recognition. These are in some key categories: Mirrorless Cameras, Cinema Cameras, Audio, Support, Lighting and Special Innovation. The other awards are entirely down to you. So, please vote!
make filmmaking that bit easier, faster, cheaper, higher quality or just more creative. Having equipment that can be relied upon to deliver really lets you focus on getting the job done. From hardware to software, the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards are now in their fourth year and recognise the best gear. From cameras and lenses to stabilisers, tripods, mics, bags, software and more, there are categories where innovative and quality products can shine. Many offer great strides forward. The nominees are put forward by the editorial team and gear testers at
AWARDS GEAR OF THE YEAR
Sony A7S III Fujifilm X-T4 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Panasonic S1H
Panasonic S5 Canon EOS R5
resolution and Raw recording. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III had plenty of video spec, too. Finally, the DSLR market got an injection of new cameras, including the Canon EOS-1 DX Mark III and Nikon’s D6 and D780. It was also a big year for cinema cameras. Canon released the EOS C500 Mark II with internal Raw Light recording, a newmodular body and high spec codecs, followed by the EOS C300 Mark III – essentially, it’s the same body and similar spec, but it uses Super 35. Sony’s FX9 offered a more affordable full-frame cinema camera, while the Panasonic EVA1 and Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K G2 continued to gain fans. With Covid-19 leading to lockdowns and new ways of working, streaming unsurprisingly became even bigger news. JVC is one of the pioneers of streaming and its HC500 and HC900 camcorders sold well, as did Canon’s XF705 and Sony’s Z190 and Z280. Panasonic’s compact CX10 offered an incredible spec in a very small and affordable package. Which gets your vote?
Cameras are the real hero products that everyone loves to focus on. In the past year, there have been exciting launches in each camera category, with even the DSLR market revealing capable products. There have been full-frame models, the widening of in-camera Raw recording and even relatively affordable cameras up to 12K. A lot of the development has happened in the mirrorless camera market. The long-awaited Sony A7S Mark III was revealed with stunning 4K performance. But Canon stole Sony’s thunder with its EOS R5, offering internal Raw Light recording and 8K resolution, while Panasonic’s 5.9K S1H full-frame camera became a favourite. Then Panasonic revealed the S5 with lots of the same spec, but at roughly half the price. And Sigma’s full-frame fp offered a super-compact body that shoots Raw, too. Add in Nikon’s Z 6 gaining ground and it’s been a top year for full-frame mirrorless cams. Fujifilm’s Super 35-sized X-T4 was a star Super 35 performer, as well as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, which offers 6K
ABOVE From mirrorless cameras to DSLRs and also cinema cameras, there is so much choice nowadays
Nikon Z 6 Sigma fp
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Marshall CV380-CS
DSLR 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
LENSES Lenses always offer long-term value and they can transform the look of your films more than just mount, Leica L-Mount and Nikon Z mount for full-frame mirrorless cameras, as well as Sony continuing to expand its E-mount range, the lens market continues to grow. Our awards are split into categories for primes, zooms and lens accessories – all buys that are crucial to a camera’s usability and, ultimately, to the look of your films. For primes, there is an increasing about anything else. With the increased use of the Canon RF number of AF primes, driven by the emerging newmirrorless lens mounts. But also, there is a move towards manual-focus cine lenses for their tactical feel and lack of focus breathing. For the increasingly popular style of shooting anamorphic, the affordable Sirui 50mm f/1.8 Anamorphic 1.33x has been a hit. Samyang’s Xeen range, now available in carbon fibre, has also
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
been popular, while relatively new brand Irix has a growing range of cine lenses, such as the 150mm T3.0 Macro. And of course, there are stunning options from Sigma, Zeiss, Cooke, Tokina and more. The newmirrorless lens mounts mean even faster zooms have started to have an impact, as well as more image-stabilised glass. Besides your choice of lens, accessories help get the best from your glass. Dutch brand Vocas continues to make some top-quality rigs, while there are nominees for filters from Formatt- Hitech, Schneider-Kreuznach, Hoya and PolarPro. “The newmirrorless lensmountsmean even faster zooms have had an impact”
BELOW To rival established lens giants, like Fujinon and Sigma, came Irix and the new CF Xeen primes
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 AWARDS
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 A7S III 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
Slider technology also continues to grow, with app-controlled units and clever mechanical sliders – like Kenro’s Double Distance slider and Edelkrone’s Wing – bringing something different to the table. In terms of rigs, nominations include the Vocas Sony FX9 Run & Gun kit, Shape A7S III shoulder mount, Zacuto Red Komodo cage, Tilta TA-T09 Sigma fp rig and 8Sinn Cage for Red Komodo. As for stabilisers and gimbals, there’s the DJI Osmo Pocket camera, as well as DJI Ronin-SC, Glidecam HD-Pro, Gudsen Moza AirCross, Manfrotto Gimbal 460 kit and Zhiyun Crane 3S Pro Director Kit. “Slider technology continues to grow with app control ”
There is always huge innovation in the world of camera support, from tripods and rigs to stabilisers and gimbals. It’s essential equipment that filmmakers need to own, meaning new features regularly come on to market and there’s massive price competition. After a camera, the first purchase most filmmakers make is a tripod. And inevitably, this is followed by more and more tripods to suit all different types of uses and cameras! There is a massive range of tripods that suit all cameras and budgets. Sachtler’s Flowtech 75 tripod is a full-size tripod with flat, carbon- fibre legs that are quick to set up, with many professionals moving to this system. But the choice is huge. Brands like Sirui have revealed a range of tripods that suit various cameras. Plus, there’s fierce competition from Benro, Libec, E-Image and Manfrotto. And let’s not forget how useful monopods can be. Manfrotto, Libec, Benro and Kenro offer top kit for all budgets.
IMAGES From tiny stabilised cameras to tripods, gimbals, sliders and rigs, there are so many incredible products
GEAR OF THE YEAR
ACCESSORIES ANDAUDIO Memory cards and hard drives continue to innovate, keeping up with new connections and the increasing data needs that cameras require, as well as providing reliability and security.
From hard drives to hard cases, monitors to memory cards, and not forgetting lighting and software, there are plenty of must-buy accessories that keep a professional working to high standards. Monitors and recorders also unlock more quality from your camera, making them great buys. And lighting always has a huge impact on your work. We have shortlisted a range of lights, including the large and fully customisable Rotolight Titan X2, as well as the Aputure Accent B7c that replaces household bulbs and makes for stealthy location shoots.
As always, audio is crucial and there is a lot of high-tech kit to help you get it right. From XLR, DSLR and lavalier mics, to audio recorders and wireless kits, our shortlist includes top kit at all sorts of different price points.
RIGHT Everyone needs a good bag and some can take a camera kit without stripping it down
Rotolight Anova Pro 2 Nanguang Nanlite Mixpad 27 Litepanel Gemini 2x1
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 Sandisk Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 128GB External hard drives 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 Samsung SSD X5 Samsung SSDT7 Touch 1TB G-Technology ArmorLock SSD 2TB
Open Broadcaster Software Studio Audio Recorder/adapters Olympus LS-P4 TascamDR-701D TascamDR-100MKIII TascamDR-10L ZoomH6 Sound Devices MixPre-6 II Shure VP83F Saramonic SR-VRM1 Beachtek DXA-Micro Pro+ Microphone XLR Sennheiser MKE 600 Rode NTG5 Audio-Technica AT8035 Aputure Deity S-Mic 2 Location kit Saramonic SR-TM1 Microphone DSLR Rode Videomic NTG Audio-Technica AT8024 Shure VP83 Saramonic Vmic Mini Sennheiser MKE 200 Sennheiser MKE 440 Stereo Kenro Universal Cardioid mic Wireless mics Sennheiser XSW-D ENG Sennheiser AVX-MKE2 Sennheiser Memory mic Rode Wireless Go Audio-Technica ATW-1701 Saramonic SR-WM4C kit Saramonic Blink 500 B1
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 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
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 Lupo Day LED 2000 Broncolor LED F160 Fiilex Matrix II RGBW punch light Nanlite Forza 60 Aputure LS 600D Lighting innovation Aputure Accent B7c 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
Adobe Premiere Pro Avid Media Composer Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16 Apple Final Cut Pro X Sony Vegas
Delkin Power SDXC 128GB Sony Tough SDXC 128GB
AWARDS GEAR OF THE YEAR
Innovation in design and technology mean we’ve had a bumper year in terms of the latest launches. Our Launch of the Year category has three full-frame mirrorless models from the big guns of Sony, Canon and Panasonic. But they face stiff competition from cinema cameras, such as the Canon EOS C300 Mark III, EOS C70, Red Komodo and Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 12K. And in terms of innovation, the 8K Canon EOS R5 and compact- size, full-frame Sony A7C are right up there, too. Atomos unlocked Apple ProRes Raw codec for lots of cameras,
including the largest- sensor cameras, such as the Fujifilm GFX100. This was thanks to the Ninja V monitor and recorder kit. G-Technology’s new
app-controlled ArmorLock SSD drive offers a brand-new take on a portable hard drive, while the Blackmagic Design AtemMini Pro switcher and JVC H.265 streaming adapter made live streaming easier. Now, it’s time for you to have your say and help decide the worthy winners of the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards.
IMAGES From mirrorless to full-size cine camera launches, it’s been a bumper year
Innovation of the year PolarPro Peter McKinnon Mist Edition VND filter Rode Videomic NTG Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 12K Sony A7S III Sony A7C Panasonic Lumix S5
Canon EOS C70 Canon EOS R5 Red Komodo G-Technology ArmorLock Portable SSD
Atomos ProRes Raw for full- frame/large format cameras Blackmagic Design AtemMini Pro JVC H.265 streaming adapter Atomos Ninja Pro kit Launch of the year Sony A7S III Panasonic Lumix S5 Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 12K Canon EOS R5 Canon EOS C300 Mark III Canon EOS C70 Red Komodo G-Technology ArmorLock Portable SSD Rode Videomic NTG
vote in as few or as many categories as you like – it’s entirely up to you. In addition, everyone who votes enters into a prize draw. After voting closes, a name shall be pulled out at random and that lucky person wins a case of wine!
We’ve kept the voting as simple as possible, so you don’t have to register or log in. Voting is open now and runs until 12 February, so get your skates on and vote. Go to promoviemaker.net and follow the Gear of the Year link to vote. You can
G-TECHNOLOGY ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
Masters of protection
G-Technology’s range of drives brings high levels of speed and security
I f there is one thing that gives any filmmaker a real nightmare, it’s the thought of losing all of the footage from an important shoot. Whether the result of a technical hiccup, the accidental drop of a hard drive or even the thought of a drive getting into the wrong hands, the damage financially as well as to a professional’s reputation could be huge. Having immediate access to safely stored data – and keeping it out of the wrong hands – is crucial. With resolution and data rates from cameras growing all the time, a fast and reliable drive to store a backup of data safely on set is a vital part of everyday workflow. That calls for drives that are robust and specifically designed for use on location, where accidents can happen. In terms of fast and safe hard drives, G-Technology has a huge range that works
incredibly well for professional filmmakers and offers unique technology to stand them apart from their rivals. And it’s been recognised in the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards. Two products from the extensive range: the 4TB ArmorATD and the 2TB Armorlock SSD, are shortlisted for a total of four awards. The ArmorATD is an affordable, on-location solution, as it’s a rugged, all-terrain HDD with triple-layer shock resistance and a solid aluminium enclosure. Thanks to USB-C, it’s compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0 connections and comes with the adapters to work on Mac and Windows computers. With a maximum data transfer rate of 140MB/s * , it’s fast and reliable. The Armorlock series uses flash-based SSDs that are silent, small and, compared to traditional mechanical drives, have no
moving parts, so they’re less vulnerable to impacts or vibration. SSD drives are so fast that editing on location is now possible, even with high-resolution files. G-Technology is part of Western Digital, which is one of the very few manufacturers to build the drive and internal controller, as well as developing the firmware for a totally integrated solution. This has enabled G-Technology to build the revolutionary Armorlock drives; encrypted NVMe SSD portable drives boasting next-generation security. With the free Armorlock app, users unlock the drive wirelessly with a smartphone. The Armorlock mobile and desktop apps ** allow the configuration and management of multiple drives and users. So, a remote user can only access the contents if they have been authorised by the drive owner. And of course, the
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE G-TECHNOLOGY
“G-Technology has the complete solution for easy-to-use and secure data storage”
From rugged drives on-location, external drives for use in the edit suite to the unique G-Speed Shuttle transportable RAID storage systemwith Thunderbolt 3 technology, G-Technology has the data needs of all filmmakers totally covered. * Based on read and write speeds. 1MB/s = one million bytes per second. Based on internal testing; performance may vary depending upon host device, usage conditions, drive capacity and other factors. ** Minimum operating system requirements: App – macOS 10.13+, iOS 10.13+. System - macOS 10.12+ Windows 10+. *** As used for storage capacity, 1TB = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment. **** On a carpeted concrete floor
For even faster performance, G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD comes in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB *** versions and uses the newest version of Thunderbolt 3 and a quicker PCIe drive for continuous transfer rates of up to 2800MB/s * . This incredible speed allows you to edit multistream 8K footage at full-frame rate and transfer up to 1TB of data in about seven minutes (for drives with capacities of 1TB+). The G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD uses Western Digital’s highest-quality components, with a shock-resistant case that can withstand a three-metre drop **** and also has a crush resistance of 454kg/1000lb. Like the G-Drive Mobile SSD, there is a five- year warranty. With a full range of portable and desktop drives that feature class-leading SSD drives for speed or HDD drives for affordability, G-Technology has the complete solution for easy-to-use, high- performance and secure data storage.
IMAGES G-Technology has a range of fast and rugged drives that are ideal for use on location and for safely transferring data to the edit suite, once you’re back from the shoot
drive is fast, with a read and write speed of 1000MB/s * and has the crush, drop and IP67 water and dust resistance G-Technology drives are famous for. If you don’t need the enhanced security of Armorlock, G-Technology has other SSD options, such as the very affordable G-Drive Mobile SSD, which has a fast USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection and is compatible with USB-C, USB-3.0 and Thunderbolt 3. With transfer rates of up to 560MB/s * , it is available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB versions *** . Its SSD is located in an insulated custom enclosure held in a protective aluminium core to help cooling. The G-Drive Mobile SSD has IP67 water and dust resistance, has drop protection of up to three metres **** and a crush resistance of 454kg/1000lb.
ACADEMY THE ART OFMOTION
MASTER YOUR GIMBAL
Learn to get the very best out of your three-axis gimbal and transform your films SMOOTH OPERATORS
WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH
U sing a stabilised gimbal isn’t transform your films into true cinematic masterpieces. But they can definitely help, if you know how to use them well. Like anything in filmmaking, it takes practice and an understanding of what the motion brings to your shot. When motorised, three-axis gimbals suddenly became available and affordable for the majority of filmmaking professionals, it caused a revolution. No longer was smooth camera movement the going to guarantee the immediate capture of beautifully smooth, motion-packed shots that
ABOVE A boom pole, like the new Manfrotto Gimboom, lets you get really low and perform jib-like moves with ease
sole domain of the highly paid Steadicam operator on big-budget films. All of a sudden, moving shots were everywhere, as filmmakers cast aside the shackles of their sliders, jibs, cranes, dolly tracks and tripods for instant movement in any direction, at any time. Whether they helped tell the story or not was irrelevant – there had to be some movement. Time has moved on, and wise filmmakers realise there simply isn’t a need for movement to take place in every shot. Besides, they take time to set up
correctly and are actually quite heavy to carry and use for any extended period of time. In reality, the best gimbal shots are planned out in advance. There’s perhaps one massive misconception that relates to gimbal usage. While gimbals may correct for movement in pan, tilt and roll, they don’t have the same effect for vertical movement. As such, using a gimbal while walking or negotiating steps gives the footage an unpleasant floating motion. Perfecting the art of walking requires bent
THE ART OFMOTION
“Having subjects in the foreground is ideal for gimbal or slider usage” other products in the Fast tripod range. The boom, which is priced at £185/$190 and fits Manfrotto or any gimbals with a standard 1/4-20 or 3/8-16 thread at the bottom, really gives you a good, comfortable grip on your gimbal. And it’s ideal for going from very low, ground- scraping shots right through to pseudo- overhead shots in one smooth motion. Having a gimbal on the end of a pole simply provides you with more freedom to create push-in shots, or even reveal shots, where you move past something in the foreground to uncover the real subject of the shot. Having subjects in the foreground like this is an ideal circumstance for gimbal or slider usage, as is getting very close to your subject to give a tight shot – especially if the subject is moving. The boom gives you enough distance to make this possible and more predictable, too. One of the most popular uses of a gimbal is a tracking shot, where you move along at the same speed as your subject. For example, this could entail you walking backwards, while your subject walks towards you. A gimbal can be used to replicate a pan shot without the need to stop and set up a tripod. Holding the gimbal steady and panning using the joystick is one option, but it’s usually better to turn your body and hold the gimbal steady. By slowly moving the gimbal sideways, you can get a similar look to using a slider. Or you can replicate a crane shot by holding it low and moving it upwards. Again, focus on being smooth. It’s usually better to stick to one bit of movement in a fake dolly, slider, jib or pan shot than trying to combine two or more movements as this looks very amateurish. It’s not always about movement. By holding the gimbal as still as possible, you can produce steady shots without a tripod. It may never be as good as a real tripod shot, but you can produce a decent enough shot in a pinch. And as always, take time to read the manual. All gimbals are different and have lots of different modes that govern how the camera is stabilised. There are also time-lapse modes, motion-control modes and lots more, often controlled by a free smartphone app that can help fine-tune the gimbal for balance, too. So, read the manual, try out the settings and remember that practice makes perfect for capturing shots that are truly moving.
ABOVE If you can fit a second handle to your one-handed gimbal, it helps take the strain, making smoother shots easier
If you set up the gimbal to be held out in front of you, in flashlight mode, then not only do you get a slightly lower angle, it also becomes much easier to keep the camera stable. And it’s the second handle that really helps achieve this. Nevertheless, the least amount of strain is usually to hold the gimbal downwards, with the camera near the floor. While, importantly, this makes it far easier to hold for longer periods of time, it also offers a really dramatic viewpoint that can work to great effect. Once you get addicted to low-angle shots, you may want to move on to a shot that involves the camera moving smoothly upwards, like a crane or jib shot, which is ideal for a slow reveal. Doing this with a basic gimbal is difficult to pull off physically though and there is a limit to the height you can reach. That’s where a boom pole comes in. The latest is the carbon-fibre Fast Gimboom fromManfrotto, which extends by twisting the middle section, similar to
legs, with focus on preventing the up- and-down motion whenever you can. There is clearly a learning curve to getting the best from your gimbal. The latest accessories can help in perfecting the art of motion. And best of all are the second handle and the boom. While lots of larger gimbals came with a cross brace in the past that made operation a two-handed job, the newer crop of gimbals are less bulky to suit lighter, mirrorless cameras. Single- handed gimbals are now all the rage. By adding on a second handle, ideally at the top of the gimbal, usage once again becomes a two-handed operation. This not only helps you keep the motion smoother, but it also makes it much less exhausting on your arms. The majority of filmmakers who use gimbals start out by holding the camera in front of them, pretty much at chest level, with the gimbal held vertically. This feels pretty comfortable, but it doesn’t offer a dramatic angle to improve your shots.
THE ART OFMOTION
RONIN SETS NEWSTANDARD FOR HIGH-TECH STABILISERS DJI is the market leader in gimbals and its latest Ronin RS2 uses groundbreaking new technology. This also works for larger camera set-ups, as it can handle a payload of up to 4.5kg/9.9lb for up to 12 hours on a single charge. It’s even built to handle cameras that have manual-focus cine prime lenses. Getting your images in focus has always been an issue with gimbals: lots of filmmakers set either narrow apertures and try to keep a set distance from their subjects or they trust the camera’s autofocus system. While both of these methods are possible on the Ronin RS2, the £839/$999 Pro Combo kit comes with a follow focus motor and rig that marries up to a cine lens or manual focus lens using an included toothed ring adapter. Subsequently, the focus can be controlled accurately using a knob linked to the focus motor or by plugging your camera into the gimbal with one of the included
ABOVE Using the new DJI Ronin RS2 in flashlight mode helps take the strain of a heavy camera and lens combo
The RS2 has super-light, carbon-fibre arms, as well as metal parts, and is even lighter than its predecessors, despite its increased payload. And a nice touch is the camera-mounting plate, which has a fine-screw adjuster to help make it perfectly balanced. The Ronin RS2 is easy to control and set up, handles a wide range of relatively large cameras and has an impressive app that lets you control everything and set up a number of the advanced features, like one-tap portrait mode for vertical video, force mobile – where your smartphone controls all the moves – or time tunnel, which adds a combined 3D roll and hyper-lapse feature.
cables, you can use the DJI’s colour screen to activate AF points. The kit also comes with the Raven Eye image transmission system, which transmits a 1080p live view to a smartphone up to 200m away. Of course, there is a mounting arm, meaning you can fasten your phone to the gimbal itself. DJI’s ActiveTrack 3.0 focusing system allows you to use a touchscreen to focus on a subject. And coming soon is the 3D focus system, which uses infrared beams to measure the distance between the subject and lens. This can be used to control the focus motor. All in all, it turns manual focus prime lenses into accurate AF lenses, even when used wide open.
POCKET-SIZE GIMBAL GROWS UP
While there is no substitute for a full-size camera and gimbal, having a pocket- sized, handheld and stabilised camera means you can be shooting in seconds. It’s ideal for creating fast, run-and-gun style footage and B-roll.
The original DJI Osmo Pocket has been replaced by the new Pocket 2, which has a larger sensor for much better quality, far more audio options and a clip-on wide-angle lens, as well as a funky tripod that bolts to the small carry case. It takes everything the original camera had and moves it on significantly. The footage, which can be shot at up to 4K/60p or in HD at 8x slow-motion, is clear and crisp. There is even a flatter colour mode that maximises dynamic range in a similar way to D-Cine. You’re obviously not going to get smooth bokeh and soft, out-of-focus highlights with such a small sensor and lens, though. But the new AF system is fast and focuses as close as 20cm/7.9in. As you’d expect, it comes with a photo mode and lots of video modes, such as panorama and time-lapse, all controlled via the tiny rear screen or smartphone app. The kit also comes with two different connectors to plug it into your smartphone. Alternatively, you can use a thumb controller to move the camera. Best of all, the £469/$499 Creator Combo kit comes with a wireless mic transmitter that sends its signal back to
ABOVE The tripod helps form ideal time-lapse shots
the plug-in receiver. This clips simply on to the bottom of the camera. The Pocket 2 is a great bit of kit to fit into your pocket. It’s perfect for capturing stabilised, 4K footage quickly, producing innovative content in seconds.
ABOVE The new DJI Pocket 2 is truly pocketable!
CVP ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Making the right cinema camera choice The Red Komodo, Canon EOS C70 and Sony FX6 are the three hottest new cameras on the market, offering different features to suit different users T he last year has seen an
reimagined interface and physical design. It is the smallest of the three cameras and makes Red’s goal of modularity immediately apparent, relying heavily on cages, handles, monitors and expansion modules to improve its usability. On the other hand, Sony’s FX6 is better equipped to pull out the bag and shoot, offering everything we are used to from previous Sony FS and FX cameras. The side grip and top handle set it up to be an ergonomically-friendly and versatile camera from the off. The camera’s tactile controls, customisable button functions, built-in NDs, quick boot times and long battery life are very appealing to documentary or run-and-gun filmmakers. Much of this is also true for Canon’s C70, but it closer resembles a beefed-up DSLR. Its buttons and dials are physical, NDs are built in and Canon’s BP-A batteries offer a generous run time. The monitor placement on each camera is quite different and that says a lot about
unprecedented number of new cameras, lenses and accessories launched. With filmmakers now having so many new and exciting options to choose from, understanding which camera is ideal for them has only got more complicated. For many, the three most compelling cinema camera options are Red’s Komodo, Sony’s FX6, and Canon’s EOS C70; and it's not immediately obvious which one is the most suitable choice. To begin with, they all sit in a similar price bracket of about £4k-£6k, have very compact designs and appeal to a range of content creators who deliver a variety of work. Beyond that, the similarities end for the most part and you begin to notice how each camera stands out independently from the others. Many see the Komodo as an accessible introduction to Red’s powerful image pipeline, sharing many familiar features with its bigger brothers, albeit in a
the anticipated application. The FX6 is probably the most versatile, being fully- detachable with a range of mounting positions that work nicely for handheld or shoulder-mounted use. The C70 offers a more compact solution, similar to what you might find on a mirrorless camera. There is a small, flip-out screen hinged at the back of the camera that can be adjusted to a few angles. With the Komodo, the monitor is fixed on to the top of the camera body. This can work for some handheld use, but it makes for limited viewing angles, requiring a rigged external monitor for many applications. All three cameras offer slightly different formats and recording options, which can play a crucial role in deciding which camera is best for your needs. The Komodo houses a 6K Super 35 sensor, can shoot up to 120fps at 2K and records in Redcode, Red’s versatile and well-supported Raw format. The FX6 has a 4K full-frame sensor that can record 120fps at 4K and 240fps at 1080p, all in its very familiar XAVC codec in a variety of flavours. It also offers the ability to record ProRes Raw externally to something like an Atomos Shogun, a great option for those wanting more from their image. The C70 is a bit more limited, being the only camera of the three with no Raw recording option, either internally or externally. However, it does use Canon’s very acceptable XF-AVC codec, can also shoot 120fps at 4K and has 180fps available for filming in 2K. And on top of that, it shares the same 4K DGO sensor as the C300 Mark III.
ABOVE The Canon EOS C70 is an all-new style of camera that has many DSLR-type controls
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