Power your video equipment with a RIVER

RIVER, a 500W-rated, 5.5kg portable charging station, back-up generator and emergency battery developed and designed by EcoFlow, can be used both indoors and outdoors. The Li-Ion battery can be recharged via solar charger, car charger or wall charger. The latter two are included when you buy a RIVER. The new device, which is slated to begin shipping in June, is a dream for documentary makers.

The first universal panning head for video and time lapse: ShooTools AutoPan

The AutoPan is a universal panning head that allows you to create panoramas as well as focused slides of an object and more. The innovative AutoPan works with sliders and dollies and has multiple usage settings, including one where you use the head as a base for a rotating display. That way, you can also use the AutoPan to create 3D scans of an object. The AutoPan is designed and made in Italy.

Field experiences with a Sony A7S II

Sony A7S II with Zeiss lens

The Sony A7S II is a unique all-metal full-frame system camera. It has best-of-breed features for both photography and video. Its dramatic low-light capabilities — manually from ISO 50 to 409,600 — make low-light photography accessible to everyone. It has a 35mm equivalent full frame sensor in a package the size of a compact camera. And it does 4K XAVC video with Sony’s highly acclaimed S-Log 3 curve that allows for HDR colour grading.

Shogun Flame sets your video projects on fire

shogun flame in the snow

When do you need an external monitor/recorder? I analysed the NLE support for different formats, the difference between various subsampling methods and between 8-bit and 10-bit colour depth, and compared the internal recordings of different cameras with the footage shot with the newest Shogun Flame. My verdict is that it is always better to shoot to a production codec. It saves a lot of post-production time when you edit with Final Cut Pro X or Da Vinci Resolve. The new Atomos Shogun (and Ninja) Flame support all the ProRes and DNxHD output types, are HDR-capable and come with a number of extras not found anywhere else.

The mysteries of bit depth and chroma subsampling

420 vs 422 subsampling

Colour depth or bit depth is either the number of bits used to define the colour of a single pixel in a bitmapped image or video frame buffer, or the number of bits used for each colour component of a single pixel. Chroma subsampling is the practice of encoding images by delivering a lower resolution for chroma (colour) information than for luma (lightness). The two combine into what your footage looks like when it has been freshly recorded.

Experiencing the GoPro HERO4 one year after its release

HERO4 Black

GoPro has rearranged its product range so I thought it might be a good time now to throw their current flagship camera, the HERO4 Black, a long and critical eye. In the wake of this review I’ve also planned a number of tutorials and presentations on this action camera as much has changed since the HERO3+ was unseated as GoPro’s top offering.

How to use your GoPro HERO3+ skilfully and dazzle your audience

HERO4 Black

Your GoPro HERO3/3+/4 Black Action Camera is quite a capable camera. How you make the most of it for any type of movie to look perfect, depends on how you set it up. The secret here is to tap into the best quality the sensor and electronics are capable of. This tutorial is based on my experience with GoPro cameras from the HERO2 to the HERO3+, and takes you through the most important settings and issues.

The Atomos Ninja Assassin’s best feature? No, it’s not ProRes recording capabilities

Atomos Ninja Assassin

The first generation Ninja monitor/recorders sent a shock through the market. Here was a company that came out with a monitor/recorder for a very affordable price with features that, until then, were available only for the price of a small car. The first Atomos product was HDMI-only, but recorded to Apple's ProRes 422 HQ on cheap and commonly available 2.5in media. The Ninja Blade once more was something of a first with its high-res screen. And now in addition to the Blade for HD, we have the Ninja Assassin for 4K. The new device is a clear break with the past. It has a different form factor and comes with only two accessories.

To keep out drone trolls, legal regulations are necessary

In August 2015, the pilot of an airplane in the midst of its landing procedure at Ben Gurion near Tel Aviv in Israel, suddenly saw a quadcopter flying right of the plane at a dangerously close distance of about 100m (33ft). In compliance with aviation rules, he reported the incident to airport authorities. They started an investigation. Certainly in Israel, drones could be used for anything from plane spotting to terrorism. Drones are increasingly becoming a problem and they should not be unleashed to the broader public without establishing ground rules for their usage.