5DmkII All Grown Up

So since my last entry for the 5D I have added a few new goodies to the rig… As you can see (kind of) I have the whole enchalada mounted in an cage (love it) which makes grabbing this camera and using it a dream. The cage is made by Easom and this particular version is called the Halo. It provides 2 ribs for connecting the upper and lower sections and I have them staggered here. Their other model called the Solo has only 1 rib – an equally nice cage. Also I found a great D-Tap power distribution company: Hawk-Woods in the UK. They sell a kit that allows you to use you V-mount batteries with DSLRs by way of voltage regulating the power with the adapter that goes into your camera where the battery fits. Now I power my camera, monitor and any other goodies from a single B4B V-mount battery. This is a mid sized battery 6Ah/90Wh and lasts about 2 to 3 hours each.

To go with the “all growed up” look I added my RedRock follow focus and CA Vision matte box. I had to go up to 18″ rods to make everything fit and balance out but it all sits there nicely now. I put a small Pony clamp on the back of the cage handle and slid both of my Sennheiser wireless receivers on there for a tight cable package. I used XLR splitters to feed the mic’s outputs to both the ZOOM and the 5D at moc level. There is an XLR to stereo mini adapter cable in there going into the 5D itself.

Rounding out the system I have a Zoom H4n mounted to another part of the cage and my Marshall monitor is being held on my a Manfrotto mid sized articulating arm. It all fits… and comes in at about 16.2 Lbs…. ouch =) I have another Noga arm on order that should drop a pound or two off the total weight of the package. I’ll keep you posted.

TDTrey.com

www.filmmakingwebinars.com

This new and not new site is terrific!!! They offer really helpful tips and tricks on digital film making, media managing and all sorts of other great tools for aspiring movie makers. So, I’m a little biased… they have asked me to do a segment on corporate events and how to cover them ENG style.

This company is a part of NewMediaWebinars.com which has been around for some time. Great work on bring info to the masses. This particular webinar that I am doing will focus on the steps used to do a successful coverage of a corporate event or retreat. We will talk about planing the shooting days out. Shooting for the edit. Camera choices and media management techniques. It should be helpful for viewer of all skill levels =)

The Webinar will be live February 17th from 10am to 11:30am PST and the be available for download starting the next day. There will be a small price for the download version but you will get a lot of extras that won’t be in the initial live airing. To listen and view check out www.filmmakingwebinars.com for all the latest info.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time,

TDTrey.com

ZOOM H4n Digital Recorder

Recently got to use the new ZOOM H4n on a project to track GOPRO cameras in a car interior setting – Worked great. We first used them with the internal mics place near the interviewee – that worked OK but had a little too much road noise. Plan B, we already had the people miked from the other part of the interview process with Lectrsonic 195 systems so we just added the ZOOMs to our field mixer bags and set those in the back seat during the “on-the-road” interviews and used hand claps to sync them up later. Sounded great.

Things we learned:

  • 4gig – class 4 cards were fine
  • 48/16 WAV files fit right into the edit
  • Batteries would last almost all day – 10 hours
  • New front panel design was much easier to read and operate
  • Mic level in to the XLRs from the mixers worked great*
  • Gain staging mixer to H4n had plenty of wiggle and head room
  • Make sure you don’t bump the MIC/1&2 buttons – Silence… OOPs
*In preparation I had done a lot of reading up on the new H4n and most said “no line in”. I understand the combo inputs are designed to accommodate HIGH impedance signals from guitars and basses 10k. Well I did some testing after the shoot, -10 line out of my FP33 @ 0vu yielded a nice signal when the record levels on the ZOOM are set relatively low. No sonic coloration that I could hear – Tone and Dialog.

I have the H2 and the H4n. The H2 stays with my FP33 as a piggy back dual system recorder and the H4n stays with the 5Dm2. Nice kit to have…

TDTrey.com

My 5D Mark II has arrived !!!

OK OK… So I held off as long as I could. The first time I saw the photos of the all rigged out 5DmkII I thought WOW!!! Then I told myself I was just judging a book by it’s cover. It looks very cool — but it’s not ready for video yet.

So I waited, patiently, with my EX1 and EX3 by my side. My trusty LETUS 35 Extreme always ready… Then it started happened. People I knew started asking for or using the 5D and 7D on their projects. TV shows started using them. Canon released the firmware updated for the 5D — now it was a whole different ballgame. Workable frame rates, better control over the sound (even if it’s just a scratch track in most cases) and Zeiss has adopted the EOS platform as a real entity. All hail the CP.2 lens set…where’s that winning lottery ticket….

I’m now into my third week of owning a 5DMKII. It took a week to figure out how to get it into video mode. My first subject – my big toe… Got almost a minute and a half out of that. Next it was on to real uses. I re-configured my RedRock rod system and V2 follow focus from the EX3 to work with the Canon 24 -70 2.8 L lens that I bought. Worked out the mount for my 7″ Marshall monitor and tracked down the elusive spare Canon LP-E6 batteries. I was able to make my CA Vision matte box just fit the tall form factor of the 5D with the battery grip on it.

I’m off to the races — or in this case an art showing for a friend to shoot a couple of interviews for the event. They turn out really pretty good considering the room was packed and I used only the light from a hanging PAR 64 blasting the art on the walls. I put the interviewees about 4 feet in front on the art and me about 3 feet in front of them. Not your ideal ratio – but it’s what the room could handle. The DoF was not bad when I looked at the footage later. Important safety tip Egone… Just because you can go WFO with these lenses on the 5D and get everything really shallow – doesn’t mean you should. The first interview went great because the interviewee stood still — at ƒ2.8. The second person repeatedly leaned in to make her points. I didn’t think it was that far… but she fell in and out of focus slightly through out the interview. To do it over, I would set my focal plane more forward or shoot an ƒ4.0. Still a good first outing.

I’ll keep you all posted. Should be a fun learning curve. Have a great weekend.

TDTrey.com

To DIVA or not to DIVA… That was the question.

I have been working with tungsten based lighting forever and just recently got into KinoFlos and LED technology. Wow what a difference. Each technology has it strong points. I still love the way my open face pars wrap around people and objects — but the flexibility of the Divas to conform to any situation is really great. The instant color change out and the dimming capability is perfect for almost everything.

As more and more LED instruments are available we are certainly working in a great time for lighting. But, I believe you will still need some good fire power to keep up with daylight spilling into (or onto) your set if there’s no way to control it. The LEDs continue working there way up to the power of the Divas and the brute force of a Mighty Mole (at a reasonable price point) but will need a little more time to get there. Please send in a comment or suggestion if you know of some reasonably prices LED solutions out there in the 1K & 2K power range…

The bottom line is to use the instruments that work for you — but also to be open to new technology when it comes to lighting. I recently bought two DIVA 400s from a friend and love using them. They compliment my tungsten kits perfectly. I’m a little late to the game for this config, but keying with 56K and using 32K for kickers and background is an awesome combination. Plays really nice in mixed light situations. And, you get full “poop” out of all your instruments. Very cool…

‘Til next time,

TDTrey.com