Still kind of working on my Smallrig layout and I decided to go with one of their “Safety rails” for the top handle. The little quick release spring numb makes me feel a little safer about handing it off to others and prevents the top handle from sliding completely if I bump the thumbscrew.
The Safety rail is slightly longer than the NATO rail I bought originally and it’s missing the 1/4 20 mounts up and down the center, but I don’t think that’ll be much of a problem. I originally thought I’d be using those mounts every once in awhile, but I think with a monitor and a handle I pretty much have everything I need. If I need to mount a friction arm, I can always use one of the many 1/4 20 threads on the top of the unit.
My build is still evolving, but I’d like to thank everyone for sharing pictures of their set ups and design ideas. If you have any other ideas to make this design more useful, feel free to send me some pictures or post links. I’ll take a look at them. With everyone working on this we can probably come up with the a perfect Smallrig parts list for the Sony a7s.
If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s worth a look. Basically the guys from panophoto.net attached a Panasonic GH4 with 12-35mm f2.8 OIS (image stablized) lens and a Olympus E-M5 mark II with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 to a mounting plate and walked around for about 10 min.
While the Olympus E-M5 mark II footage gets a little soft as they run around, the 5-axis stabilization still seems to be top notch. When you start looking at the price of the E-M5 ($1099), it’s actually substantially less than many of the 3-axis gimbal systems on the market. For your $1099 purchase, you get a complete M4/3 camera, a stabilizer system, and you avoid the hassle of balancing, setup, and reprograming. On top of that, you’re trading out a large stabilizer rig for a tiny M4/3 camera body.
I don’t think the E-M5 mark II will completely replace 3-axis gimbals, but if you are on a budget, the E-M5 probably makes a lot more sense. I keep seeing these stabilization videos and keep wondering if I should make the E-M5 mark II my backup M4/3 camera. On the other hand, i’m not sure I really want to learn another camera menu system. For now, I think i’ll hold off and wait to see what the Olympus E-M1 Mark II will offer, but the E-M5 is still extremely tempting.
The Saramonic SR-AX107 just showed up today. Build is solid and the finish is on par with what you get from Juicedlink and beachtek. The red faceplate on the Saramonic will do little to improve audio quality, but it’s starting to grow on me.
Setting next to a Beachtek DXA-SLR, you can see that it’s a little on the chunky side. The Saramonic SR-AX107 is about a half inch taller and an inch and a half wider than the DXA-SLR but doesn’t stick out as far forward. On the other hand it’s about half the size of the Tascam DR-60d.
It might be a little easier to visualize the size of the Saramonic SR-AX107 by attaching it to a Canon 6d. I’d say it’s ruffly the size of a battery grip. The best use for the Saramonic SR-AX107 will most likely be mounted to a rig or on a tripod which is the case with most of these camera mount audio adapters.
I haven’t had a chance to play around with the audio yet, but I did manage to pop a battery in and power things up. The screen in backlit and the on board level meters look pretty nice. A few of the switches like S/M (Stereo/Mono) and AGC disable, have on screen displays and there is also a battery indicator.
I should have some audio samples of the Saramonic SR-AX107 up towards the end of the week. So far, it looks like a nice design and it should be interesting to see how this guy sounds.
There are some rumors of a new Panasonic GH4 firmware update coming which might add some “major features”. While that seems to be mostly twitter speculation, new Ebay prices on the GH4 have dropped to $1182, which brings it pretty close to the price of the new Olympus E-M5 MKII. If you’re a M4/3 shooter, I think the decision you have to make is 4k or image stabilization. I still haven’t pulled the trigger on an E-M5 MKII, but I think it’s because I currently don’t “need” stabilization that bad and part of me wants to wait to see what the Olympus E-M1 mark II will have to offer. 2015 should be an interesting year for cameras.
UPDATE: This is Japanese language only, So unless you read Japanese, this camera is not for you! Thanks to TW for pointing this out.
Episode 14 of the DFN podcast, Mitch from planet5D joins me to discuss Kowa Lenses, Sony FE lenses, Wifi Video Broadcasters, and more.
I’ve been using the MSI GS60 for the last 4 or 5 months as a high powered editing laptop. Lately I’ve been wondering if it could end up being a desktop replacement, so I started searching for some kind of docking station. After a bit of research I came across the Startech Universal 4k docking station.
The docking station has a lot of extra ports and manages to provide 4k video via a single USB 3.0 port connected to the MSI GS60. There aren’t a lot of other docking station options to choose from so I thought I’d give this one a try.
One of the disappointing things about the docking station is that it’s limited to 30 hz in 4k mode. While this docking station does allow for a 4k output via the displayport output, it isn’t something you’ll probably want to game with. The Startech Universal 4k docking station is probably fine for productivity applications like video editing and spreadsheet work but gaming is likely off the table.
Over all, the Startech Universal 4k docking station isn’t a bad buy, but i’m a little disappointed in the 4k refresh rates. I’m already limited by the 48hz screen on the MSI GS60, I think I’ll end up using the displayport output with my Samsung 4k panel and using the docking station for it’s assortment of usb ports.