Tripod heads come in many sizes and formats. There are heads that enable you to position your camera very accurately, in small degrees and in each of the three dimensions individually, while others allow you to freely move the camera in any direction or angle you want by simply releasing a lever or screw. The latter category includes ball heads. Usually and because they're made to freely move your camera in all directions, ball heads are not suitable for anything but keeping your camera still when shooting with long exposure times or with heavy lenses mounted. In theory, ball heads would be great for videographers — free movement in all directions is what we think about when shooting a movie. However, ball heads don't restrict movement at all, meaning you can't easily keep them level with the horizon either. Unless you're using a special one, the Uniqball.
Fancy creating a screencast or a presentation involving demos of iPad apps, or a PiP (picture in Picture) video presentation of new software? Then ScreenFlow has been your best option for some years now. Telestream recently released version 7 of the application. It comes with new options, such as text animations, a global media library, multi-pass x264 encoding and more.
You can buy any HDMI cable for video recording to an external monitor/recorder equipped with an HDMI-port and it will do just fine, provided it can handle the HDMI specification you’re shooting with. That is undoubtedly true, but the influence of the quality of assembly and an issue with cable management could make you buy an expensive coiled cable. There’s an alternative that works just as good, though, and it’s much cheaper.
A light stand is nothing to get excited about, but the LP605M Convertible 7.5in Compact Light Stand and Monopod is a two-in-one stand, designed to lighten the load for location photographers. It was developed with industrial designer and photographer Eric Au and builds on the popular LP605 Compact Light Stand.
The OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual features two Thunderbolt 2 ports, one USB 3.1 Gen. 1 port and all of the cables you need to start using it immediately. You can set this small-footprint unit to RAID 0, RAID 1, disk spanning and JBOD modes. It has a black minimal design and you can buy it as a bare enclosure or with disks already installed. I got the chance to test the 2TB version.
German manufacturer Delock makes cables, switches, splitters and adapters for all kinds of usages, including video and audio. I was intrigued by their inexpensive ultra-slim HDMI cable that has the same specifications as Atomos’ coiled HDMI 2.0a cables. A month of a lot of trying out this cable with different monitors and recorders later I’m pretty certain this Delock cable is a great cable if you want to record in 4K/60fps.
Thunderbolt 3 docks are being released at a fast pace. The CalDigit TS3 Thunderbolt Station has been around for a month now and it has an edge. Not only does it provide 85W charging power on one of its ports to Apple's Thunderbolt 3 MacBook, but it's also tiny compared to others. And it can be positioned upright, saving space on your desk.
If you need a clock counting up or down, or you would like to add a graphic to a video that gives some sense of timing or progress, look no further than Time Pop, distributed by FxFactory. It’s a title generator with some free clocks, but when you pay you’ll get a bunch of designs that offer more possibilities and more nicely designed progress “meters”.
Europe is home to some pretty innovative developers. In Slovenia, Lumulabs is a small operation that developed the Lumu Power light meter, a Kickstarter success that started well over a year ago and which successfully ended in June with the first shipment of the finished devices. The Lumu Power light meter is a hardware sensor combined with an iOS app. It has both a fast-response silicon photo diode and true colour sensor in a package the size of a big marble.
I tested a 480GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD with an Atomos Shogun Flame as well as with an iMac. The Mercury Extreme Pro 6G has been certified for use in Blackmagic Design equipment and has a maximum read speed of 559MB/s and write speed of 527MB/s. My own tests revealed slightly lower, although pretty impressive figures.