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REVIEW: Zacuto Z-Drive Follow Focus and Tornado Grip

I just finished my review of Zacuto's Z-Drive and Tornado Grip over at Pro Video Coalition. This is an out-of-the-box product that cleverly blends a follow focus and hand-grip together. Together, the Z-Drive and Tornado let an operator pull focus while keeping a shoulder-mounted camera rock-steady.

I had a chance to work with the Z-Drive/Tornado Grip on a few projects, and added it to my own kit because it genuinely gave me better results in shoulder-mounted camera work, and also kept things more comfortable. You can read the review right here.



Hexolux D7 LED Light Arrives

For the last week, I've been working with a cool new LED light from Hexolux, with a max 150W draw. A few things that stand out: beautiful fresnel lens, photometrics similar to 650-750 watt conventional light, DC power off of a V-mount or Anton Bauer battery (125watt draw), precise dimming on an LED display (0-100%), alternative dimming via f-stop, and the ability to combine multiple light heads together.

I'll be working on a review in the next week or two.



REVIEW: Areca ARC-8050T2 Thunderbolt 2 RAID on Pro Video Coalition

Just finished a review of the new Areca 8-drive RAID with Thunderbolt 2 over at Pro Video Coalition. I've been reviewing a lot of RAIDs lately due to my own transition over from a 2009 Mac Pro to the new Mac Pro with Thunderbolt. This is probably the last I'll be looking at for a while, but what makes the Areca unique is that it's 1) very, very fast when used with a Thunderbolt 2 connection, and 2) it's the only 8-bay Thunderbolt RAID I know that you can buy empty, and add your own drives to it. That let's you save considerably money if you have a bit of a do-it-yourself spirit. 

You can read the full review right here


Zacuto's Z-Drive and Tornado Grip Arrive

Yes, this is actually a follow-focus.

It's called the Z-Drive and is brand new from Zacuto. It's designed to combine a small, lightweight follow-focus with a handgrip — that way a one-man-band operator can shoulder-mount the camera and keep it steady, all while pulling focus.

I just got this last night, and am pretty impressed with Zacuto's out-of-the-box solution to a common problem for shoulder-mounted cine cameras. I'll have more in the next couple of weeks. 

By the way, the Z-Drive itself is actually pretty small, but you see it here combined with Zacuto's Tornado grip. Otherwise, you can use the Z-Drive with a conventional focus whip, or just by hand. But then you lose benefit of combining focus and grip into one unit in your hand.

Combined, the Z-Drive and Tornado grip cost about $783


Migrating from the Old Mac Pro to the New on CreativeCow


CreativeCow just ran a new piece of mine about my experiences migrating from an old 2009 Mac Pro tower to the new Mac Pro "tube". Specifically, I talk about the process of recreating all the functionality of the old tower's PCIe cards and drive bays using new Thunderbolt peripherals. If you're thinking of upgrading to the new Mac Pro, it's probably worth a glance. See the full article right here


Pegasus2 R8 Thunderbolt 2 RAID review on StudioDaily


Since I'm personally moving all my work over to a new Mac Pro, I'm evaluating a lot of Thunderbolt gear and writing reviews as I go along. The latest is this review for StudioDaily of Promise Technology's new Pegasus2 R8, the industry's first RAID to support Thunderbolt 2. It definitely delivers faster read/write speeds than a Thunderbolt 1 device and has the lowest price I've seen for 24TB ($3599) in a turnkey solution.

You can read the full review StudioDaily right here