Los Angeles Cameraman


REVIEW: Zacuto's Gratical HD OLED Viewfinder on Pro Video Coalition

Finally finished my write up of the superb Gratical HD, which specifically compares the Gratical to the former third-party viewfinder champion, Alphatron's EVF-035W.

The Gratical improves on the Alphatron in every respect, including a streamlined form factor, sharper screen, better battery life, better dynamic range, better shortcut buttons and more. At $3100, you pay the price for all those improvements, but if a viewfinder is a regular tool for you, it's probably justified. Plus, as I mention at the bottom of the article, Zacuto is working on another Gratical model due later this year that cuts the price substantially. 

See the whole review right here on Pro Video Coalition




REVIEW: RT Motion's MK3.1 Remote Follow Focus on Pro Video Coalition

This is my last follow focus review for a long while, but the MK3.1 was definitely worth taking a look at. It's unique because when you buy into a single channel system (about $4,500), you get a receiver and a controller that are ready to expand to two or three channels (focus, iris and zoom) — all you have to do is add one or two additional motors. That's makes the MK system a great option for people that want the opportunity to grow into a more powerful system over time. 

Also, the MK3.1's motor and especially its receiver are very small and lightweight, so they're great for rigs where size matters. 

You can read the full review right here on Pro Video Coalition....



The Zacuto Gratical Viewfinder Arrives

I'm looking forward to spending time with the new Gratical viewfinder from Zacuto, which appears to have several things going for it: 

1) It uses an OLED screen that's apparently a beauty to behold, with great dynamic range, color depth and very crisp resolution (1280x720p), so pulling focus should never be an issue.  

2) Its viewfinder image in isn't overly large, so your eye doesn't have to scan back and forth to register what's in the corners of the frame.  That's something that's personally real appealing. 

3) It's fairly power-efficient, running all day on a small Canon LP-E6 battery. 

4) It has 4 easy-to-reach function buttons, which let you turn on features like a waveform, focus-in-red, magnification, audio meters, false color, etc. 

5) It actually has its own LUT system, so you can compensate when you're shooting in various LOG modes. 

6) It works with both HDMI and SDI connections, and can pass the video signal from one through another. 

That all sounds great -- the only catch is, the Gratical is $3100! But if it works well, it could make sense as a long-term investment that you can use with any camera you own or rent. 

I'll be trying it out over the next couple of weeks, and doing a review in Pro Video Coalition in April. 

By the way, here's one more pic showing the Gratical side-by-side with the popular viewfinder from Alphatron. The Gratical is taller, but thinner, which seems to be a better balance when you're mounting it on a shoulder rig. We'll see. 


REVIEW: Cinegears Wireless Follow Focus Express

Just finished up my review of the Wireless Follow Focus Express Kit from Cinegears on Pro Video Coalition.

I really like this unit, and am feeling like it’s the ideal remote follow focus for your average shooter who wants to go wireless but doesn’t want to spend $4,000 or more. 

The Express has a lot going for it. It feels great in your hand. It simplifies setup and rigging by combining the wireless receiver and motor into one unit. It lets you easily swap out marking disks. It has some good controls for setting marks and moving between them automatically. And its $2,000 price is relatively affordable (the only less expensive system I’m aware of is iKan’s PD1 Remote Air, which I reviewed last month) .

You can read my full review of the Express right here, and see some video of the follow focus in action.


Another remote follow focus arrives....with an innovative twist

Recently came across another remote follow focus to try out. This one is the Wireless Follow Focus Express kit from Cinegears, and it's unique for two reasons:

#1 is that this is the only remote follow focus I know of that builds the wireless receiver right into the motor, so you only have to attach ONE unit to your camera, instead of a distinct receiver and a motor. That keeps your camera rig more streamlined and also reduces setup time. 

#2 is that the unit is on the affordable side, around $2000 for a kit. 

I'll have a full review at Pro Video Coalition in the next week or so.