The Uniqball 2-into-1 tripod head is one of the top three best heads available

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.

A flat but flexible or a coiled HDMI cable for recording to your Atomos Shogun?

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.

Lexar media discontinued: what’s with your guarantee?

lexar stops business

Micron Technology, Lexar's parent company, announced that it is discontinuing its Lexar retail removable media storage business. The Lexar portfolio includes memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives for retail and OEM customers. Micron is exploring opportunities to sell all or part of the Lexar business. The company said it will continue to …

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.