Episode 102 of DSLR FILM NOOB podcast is up. Mitch from planet5D.com joins me to discuss Crazy wide angle filters, the G55 field monitor, Olympus’s new TG-tracker, game controllers used as an editing interface and more.
After years of seeing others move towards LED lighting, I’m finally starting to catch up. When large LED panels first hit the market, I wasn’t really a fan of the light quality, but these days even very affordable LED lights provide very decent light. I just finished reviewing those extremally affordable $40 edge lit V-Pad 150 panels, Now I want to take a look at a much more expensive offering from Fotodiox Pro Flapjack.
The Fotodiox Pro Flapjack comes in a somewhat large form fitting case. Included in the kit is the LED light panel, a Dual battery charger, a single Sony NP-F750 style battery, a car power adapter, and a very robust ball head cold shoe adapter. While the case is nice, I would have happily traded it out for an extra battery or two.
At a price of $245, the Flapjack provides you with a color temperature range of 3200k to 5600k and the ability to adjust dim the output from 100% all the way down to 10%. You also have a design that is more refined than the V-Pad 150 panels with a nice backlit LCD screen provides battery information, color temperature, and output information.
While the frame of the Flapjack isn’t waterproof, it is made out of aluminum and there aren’t any direct vent ports to the outside world. So if you do end up running through a little bit of light rain you’ll probably be ok. Build quality is fairly solid for a light in this price range, but remember the frame is the only thing made out of metal, the battery adapter and indication panel is entirely plastic. So if you drop it on it’s back, you’ll likely break something.
I don’t know if the metal housing and LED indicator alone are enough to make the Flapjack worth the price. That said, the Flapjack is noticeably brighter than it’s $40 competitor, but is it $200 worth of brightness? I’ll post more once I’ve finished the full review.
There are a lot of people out there selling video training on various subjects from lighting and Adobe CC to understanding cameras and building your business. Usually, you’d pay a few hundred dollars for a single course and get a single set of video lessons or training. Now imagine if you could get 19 filmmaker-oriented training courses in a bundle for $97. Sure a few of those might be covering subjects you aren’t interested in, but if you can find even two in this list that interest you, the Video Creators bundle is a really good deal.
Here are just a few of the video training courses included in the Video Creators bundle and their individual prices. Something like Shane Hurlbut’s “Introduction to Cinematography” alone would set you back well over $445, but with this 5 day special you can get the whole set as a bundle for just $97. The whole set includes 347+ video tutorials, 87 hours of training, and 37 Ebooks.
Just remember as the title implies, this is a “5 day deal”. If you want it, you have less than 4 days to go before this deal goes away forever. So check out the Video Creators bundle and see what it has to offer. Looks like a pretty great deal.
Episode 99 of DSLR FILM NOOB podcast is up. Devin from Devocut.com joins me to discuss the NAB wrap up, we have the Blackmagic Video assist 4k, Aputure’s Dec Lensregain, the Nebula 4200 5 axis gimbal, Clone Rycote Softie and more.
It isn’t often that a low price LED panel ends up being very impressive, but the Vpad-150 Edgelit LED panel actually is. At a price just under $40, you get a bi-color edgelit soft LED panel that puts out a supprising amount of light for the price.
However, while the price is low, the Vpad-150 Edgelit LED panel doesn’t come with a wall wort (i’ve been using these for $5) or Sony NP battery. Still, decent build, quality light at a CRI of 93, and a lot of value for under $40. Even with a few extras you’re still getting a really decent light panel for under $50. I’d recomend these for fill lights, prodcut lighting, and on site reporting.
I’ve been using the Sirui N1004 travel tripod for the last 5 years and it has been a great tripod that’s stood up to a lot of abuse in multiple countries. The Sirui N1004 even came with me to NAB this year. But after all this time, the N1004 has started to show it’s age. The foam grip is starting to come apart, legs are starting to flop around, and the aluminum isn’t as light as some carbon fiber options which led me to check out the Mefoto globetrotter I came across at NAB.
The Mefoto globetrotter is about 2.5 inches shorter than my old Sirui N1004 and ruffly 1 1/2 pounds lighter. At the same time, the Mefoto globetrotter manages to stretch a few inches higher than the N1004. That said, the Mefoto globetrotter is almost double the price so what does that $399 price tag get you?
First, the reduced weight of the Mefoto globetrotter includes a pretty decent ball head with an Arca style Quick Release Plate. The globetrotter also manages to support up to 26.5 pounds yet still manages to fold into a 16-inch form factor.
The included ball head provides easy to use controls and allows you to twist, tilt, and rotate in whatever direction you like. The design also allows you to invert the tripod head for low angle shots.
Build quality is also top notch. The leg twist locks are very beefy and operate very smoothly on the Mefoto globetrotter. The legs also have a little more friction and tend to stay in place when you adjust them and the carbon fiber feels a bit more solid than my old Sirui N1004.
Both the Sirui N1004 and the Mefoto globetrotter can be converted into a monopod, however, the Mefoto gives you an extra 14 inches of height compared to the N1004. The thickness of Mefoto’s carbon fiber legs also seems to make a noticeable difference in stability.
Does the difference between the Sirui N1004 and the Mefoto globetrotter warrant a $180 price difference? I would say it depends on what you need. As a shooter who travels almost every month, for me, the upgrade is worth it. However, if you only travel, hike, or fly occasionally, the Sirui N1004 provides a far better value.
Will I replace my Sirui N1004 with the Mefoto globetrotter? Right now it is up in the air, but I’ll be spending a lot of time with the globetrotter over the next few weeks. We’ll see which one I end up keeping.
Want a focal reducer (a.k.a speed booster) for your Panasonic GH4 as well as a wireless follow focus and camera control system? Meet the Aputure DEC LensRegain which is basically an upgraded version of the original Aputure DEC with a Metabones speed booster style .75x focal reducer built in.
Image quality of the a Aputure DEC LensRegain looks top notch and the ability to control focus and record start/stop options on the Panasonic GH4 is pretty handy. To top that off, at a price of $600, it’s about $50 less than a Metabones .71x speed booster.
Overall the Aputure DEC LensRegain is a pretty attractive option for M43 shooters.
27Apr Edelkrone Standplus
Edelkrone is one of those companies that is always attempting to reinvent established products, and the Standplus is no exception. Basically, they’ve taken the design of their FlexTilt head and applied the concept to a full-size tripod. The result is this accordion style studio stand on wheels.
First of all, I don’t think the Standplus is intended to replace a traditional tripod for anything other than studio work on flat surfaces. Second, the position is held in place by springs tension and friction, so don’t expect it to support huge cameras.
I was able to play with the Standplus at NAB 2016. It takes a little bit of force to change positions and when I asked about weight capacity, the gentleman at the booth said, “Maybe 15 pounds or maybe more”. After that, he told me the Standplus was in the testing phase and that Edelkrone would have more information when it was ready for release.
A few people have been asking about weight. I picked this up on the showroom floor and my calibrated arm measured between 10 and 20 pounds. Which is to say it felt just about as heavy as a 503hdv head on a set of heavy duty legs.
No word yet on pricing or release dates, but I’ll keep an eye out for it.